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Pegasus in Poland. Session of the Senate committee on surveillance. Listening to Roman Giertych and Wojciech Hermeliński

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Another meeting of the Senate’s extraordinary committee on Pegasus surveillance is underway. Senators heard attorney Roman Giertych against whom, according to Citizen Lab, this software was used. Then, Wojciech Hermeliński, a retired judge of the Constitutional Tribunal, will answer the questions of politicians.

Cases of illegal surveillance using the Pegasus software since mid-January are being explained by the Senate’s emergency committee, which, however, has no investigative powers. On Wednesday, lawyer Roman Giertych was heard before the committee. Wojciech Hermeliński, retired judge of the Constitutional Tribunal will also answer the questions.

WATCH THE COMMISSION MEETING ON TVN24 GO

  • The hearing of Attorney Giertych has ended. Senator Bosacki announced a 15-minute break. After that, senators will ask questions to the retired judge of the Constitutional Tribunal, Wojciech Hermeliński.

  • Giertych: No one had the right to eavesdrop on me, no one had the right to enter my inbox, he had no right to download anything from it, he had no right to make transcripts, he had no right to pass them on to anyone, especially journalists, and he had no right to publish them. Each of these activities is a crime.

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    Giertych: this is why PiS bought Pegaus, bought it in such a twisted way to hide the way it was under surveillance of the opposition and those who are a bit unwise in the ruling camp

  • Giertych: Various clients came to my office, but also people who wanted to apply for a job. I trust that the reputation has been and is considerable. In recent years, after the attack on me in 2020, my professional activity has decreased. It was related first to the state of health, then to the epidemic. Most of the clients, despite the attacks and slandering me, did not quit.

  • Giertych that, according to Citizen Lab, the leader of Agrounia, Michał Kołodziejczak, was also to be intercepted: I spoke with experts from Citizen Lab. They told me that, in their experience, most of the sponges are used against people who are in the ruling camp. When I asked about the percentages, I was told that 20 percent are targeted at the opposition and 80 percent are targeted at theirs. Hence, I am looking for more cases. I contacted Mr. Kołodziejczak, making a list of potential people. His Agrounia may take some percentages from PiS in general elections.

  • Deputy Speaker of the Senate Michał Kamiński: The Pegasus system is a cybernetic weapon designed to combat serious crimes. This raises the question, what criminal activity did you deal with in 2019?

    Giertych: I think I am a very dangerous person, but not a criminal, but certainly for the current team I am one of those people who they consider to be dangerous. In my case, due to an ineffective attempt to bring charges against me, I have a final judgment of the courts which state that the CBA has no right to conduct any proceedings against me.

  • Giertych on the case of senator Stanisław Gawłowski: it is one of the first stories of using the prosecutor’s office to fight opponents.

  • Giertych: in my opinion, all the things that are happening today around the former head of the CBA Paweł Wojtunik, senator Krzysztof Brejza, prove that an organized group dealing with intimidation of the opposition operates within the special services

  • Can a thesis be put forward that Giertych’s clients were indirectly under surveillance? Counselor: at that time, I was dealing with some legal matters with President Tusk. The law was openly broken here.

  • Giertych: the emails that public television revealed between me and my client were generated in February, March 2020, three months after my phone was infected

  • Giertych: downloading files with e-mails and conversations with clients from the attorney’s mailbox is a crime always in Polish law

  • Giertych: from what I know, at least twice the materials obtained from my e-mail and SMS were used by public television to attack me

  • Giertych on the periods when he was under surveillance: My law firm conducts dozens, if not hundreds, of cases. At that time, the issues related to the construction of two towers were publicly known. I represented Gerald Birgfellner. The proceedings lasted from February 2019 to mid-October 2019.

  • Giertych: I think that my surveillance took place not only in Italy, but also in the Vatican

  • Giertych: my surveillance is so interesting that, as you know from the dates provided by Citizen Lab, it was also on the territory of Italy

  • Giertych: I was in constant contact with the leader Tusk. The dates of this surveillance coincide with the time when the issue of Tusk’s running in the presidential elections was at stake

  • Giertych on Pegasus surveillance: the reason I was under surveillance was the surveillance of Donald Tusk

  • Giertych on disciplinary proceedings against him: there were probably 17 attempts and seven that were pending until the later stage

  • Giertych: in 2015 it was obvious to me that I was one of the first goals of Mariusz Kamiński’s services

  • What could have been the cause of the surveillance? Giertych: To come to the answer to this question, I would have to go back in time. My departure from politics was associated with a letter I wrote to President Lech Kaczyński, in which I opposed the use of the CBA for illegal surveillance and provocation against Andrzej Lepper. This letter was my de facto farewell to politics

  • Attorney Roman Giertych began to answer senators’ questions.

  • KO Senator Marcin Bosacki: Today we invited the former and current CBA head: Ernest Bejda and Andrzej Stróżny to the committee meeting – in my letters from a week ago. Today I have received letters from gentlemen that they cannot accept the invitation to today’s committee meeting

  • Good day. The session of the Senate committee on Pegasus surveillance begins, which we will report on tvn24.pl.

So far the committee has heard Citizen Lab experts – John Scott-Railton and Bill Marczak, former head of the Senator’s Supreme Chamber of Control Krzysztof Kwiatkowskithe current president of the Supreme Audit Office Marian Banasadvisers in the Department of Public Administration of the Supreme Audit Office of gen. Marek Bieńkowski, senator of the Civic Coalition Krzysztof Brejza and his wife Dorota Brejza and legal experts.

READ ALSO: Roman Giertych: Citizen Lab confirmed today that not only was I listened to, but that data was downloaded

Pegasus surveillance case

A group of researchers from Citizen Lab, operating at the University of Toronto, in the expert opinion showed that in Poland, under surveillance with the Pegasus software, were attorney Roman Giertych, prosecutor Ewa Wrzosek and KO senator Krzysztof Brejza. The fact that Brejza was under surveillance was also confirmed independently Amnesty International. According to Citizen Lab the senator was under surveillance 33 times before the 2019 parliamentary elections, when he was the head of the KO campaign.

On Tuesday, Citizen Lab announced two more cases of surveillance in Poland. They were to be eavesdropped on the leader of Agrounia, Michał Kołodziejczak and co-author of the book about Mariusz Kamiński Tomasz Szwejgiert.

Main photo source: Tomasz Gzell / PAP



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