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Płock – District Prosecutor's Office. Małgorzata Orkwiszewska will replace Monika Mieczykowska, will take over supervision of investigations regarding Orlen

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Changes in the District Prosecutor's Office in Płock (Masovian Voivodeship). Prosecutor Monika Mieczykowska will be replaced by the current district prosecutor Małgorzata Orkwiszewska. Due to her new function, she took over supervision of ongoing investigations related to Orlen.

Prosecutor Małgorzata Orkwiszewska, previously held the position of district prosecutor in Płock, said that on Friday she was appointed “to perform the function of district prosecutor in Płock.” Her deputy was prosecutor Joanna Jackowska.

As Orkwiszewska added, currently, “due to her function”, she will supervise investigations related to Orlen conducted at the Płock district prosecutor's office – these include proceedings regarding the merger with Lotos and lowering fuel prices.

Orkwiszewska also admitted that the issue of “direct supervision” of investigations into the Orlen case might require detailed arrangements with her deputy. – We have to work on it – she added, emphasizing that Friday was the first day of work in her new position, as well as that of her deputy.

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As Orkwiszewska explained, prosecutor Jackowska, who took up the position of deputy district prosecutor in Płock on Friday, has been a prosecutor delegated to this unit for a long time, and previously a district prosecutor in Żyrardów.

Prosecutor Małgorzata OrkwiszewskaSzymon Łabiński/PAP

Prosecutor Monika Mieczykowska dismissed

On Thursday, Monika Mieczykowska, who had recently supervised investigations related to Orlen, was dismissed from the position of deputy district prosecutor in Płock. As Mieczykowska said on Thursday, the reason for this decision was not given in the letter about her dismissal. Until Thursday, the position of district prosecutor in Płock was vacant.

There are currently 37 proceedings being conducted in the first investigative department of the District Prosecutor's Office in Płock, and 47 in the second investigative department of economic crime. These proceedings include, among others: two investigations concerning Orlen: the merger with Lotos and the lowering of fuel prices.

Two investigations into Orlen

An investigation into the suspicion of Orlen lowering fuel prices was initiated on January 17 this year. It covers the period from August 1 to October 31, 2023. The proceedings are intended to determine whether the abuse of powers or failure to fulfill obligations by persons managing Orlen could have led to an unjustified lowering of the prices of liquid fuels relative to market prices, and therefore led to a direct risk of damage. large-scale assets in the Orlen company in an amount yet to be determined.

The decision to initiate an investigation into the merger of Orlen with Lotos was issued by the Płock district prosecutor's office on January 22 this year. The proceedings concern suspected abuse of powers and failure to fulfill duties by members of the management board of PKN Orlen, as well as other persons dealing with the company's property matters.

The same investigation is also intended to clarify whether there was any abuse of powers and failure to fulfill official duties in the period from the beginning of 2020 to November 30, 2022 by public officials in connection with inadequate supervision of the merger process of PKN Orlen with Lotos, including by the President of the Office. Competition and Consumer Protection – by improperly applying the provisions of the Act on the control of certain investments and allowing the sale of 30 percent. shares in the Gdańsk Refinery to Saudi Aramco without seeking the recommendation or opinion of the Consultative Committee at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister, which was to the detriment of the public interest.

Both proceedings, both regarding the suspicion of lowering fuel prices by Orlen and the merger of Orlen with Lotos, were initiated by the Płock district prosecutor's office after the notifications submitted there, and in the case of the merger they were filed, among others, by KO politicians. Each time, before initiating investigations, verification activities were carried out, the subject of which were the circumstances provided by the notifiers.

A special team is conducting the investigation

At the end of February this year, as part of the ongoing investigation into the merger of Orlen with Grupa Lotos, a team of four prosecutors and several secret service officers was established at the District Prosecutor's Office in Płock. The superior Regional Prosecutor's Office in Łódź had to give consent in advance to create such a special team, in accordance with the applicable procedure.

Recently, prosecutor Monika Mieczykowska, while still a deputy district prosecutor in Płock, announced that it is planned to appoint a similar team of prosecutors and secret service officers in the investigation into fuel price gouging, and in the case of the already working team as part of the proceedings regarding the merger with Lotos , expansion of its composition by additional prosecutors is being considered.

As part of both proceedings regarding Orlen, searches were carried out in March with the participation of the concern's offices in Płock, where the company's headquarters and its main production plant are located, and also in Warsaw, but in the case of the merger proceedings with Grupa Lotos, searches were also carried out in offices in Gdańsk, where the refinery operates, in which Orlen currently holds 70 percent. shares. During these searches, a total of 73 gigabytes of electronic documents and 2 terabytes of e-mail correspondence were secured.

Recently, the Płock district prosecutor's office, as part of its investigations into the Orlen case, applied to the Ministry of State Assets and the Ministry of Climate and Environment to issue documents relating to the scope of both proceedings.

Main photo source: Szymon Łabiński/PAP

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