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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Official in Poland’s former conservative authorities charged in cash-for-visas investigation

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WARSAW, Poland — A deputy overseas minister in Poland’s earlier right-wing authorities appeared earlier than prosecutors Wednesday to listen to prices related to the alleged sale of visas and work permits to migrants for 1000’s of {dollars}, anti-corruption officers mentioned.

The cash-for-visas scandal emerged final summer season and undermined the tough-on-immigration stance of the ruling Regulation and Justice social gathering, which went on to lose energy in October parliamentary elections. An investigation was launched earlier final yr.

The Central Anti-Corruption Bureau mentioned in a press release Wednesday it had detained the previous deputy overseas minister, who had been in control of consular affairs and who was recognized solely as Piotr W. due to Polish privateness legal guidelines.

He was delivered to town of Lubin the place prosecutors offered him with prices of getting exceeded his authority in dealing with ministry paperwork, influencing the issuing of Polish visas and sharing categorized data with an unauthorized particular person in 2022-23.

If convicted in a court docket trial, the defendant may very well be handed as much as 10 years in jail.

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The nationwide prosecutor’s workplace later mentioned that the defendant protested his innocence and declined to testify.

He was launched on bail. Eight different folks have been charged within the case, the anti-corruption workplace mentioned.

In August, Polish media reported allegations that Poland’s consular sections issued some 250,000 visas to migrants from Asia and Africa since 2021 in return for bribes. On the identical time the deputy overseas minister was fired and the media linked him to the scandal.

He has denied any wrongdoing.

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