The most experienced investigator in espionage cases has retired, according to tvn24.pl. This is prosecutor Anna Karlińska, who dealt with, among others, the case of Tomasz L., suspected of spying for Russia, a former employee of the Warsaw City Hall and member of the WSI liquidation commission.
Sources in the prosecutor’s office who spoke on condition of anonymity told us that the high-profile case of suspected espionage Tomasz L. has a new presenter.
– And more importantly, retired, i.e. a prosecutor’s office retirement, Anna Karlińska passed away. She is a living legend and the most experienced investigator in espionage cases. No one can compare with her knowledge and experience, and no one has the same trust in the services, one of the prosecutors tells us.
“State of rest”
We have sent a number of questions on this matter to the National Prosecutor’s Office. We wanted to know why prosecutor Karlińska is no longer conducting proceedings against Tomasz L. We also asked, among others, for information on how many indictments on espionage charges were drawn up by her successor. We got a one-sentence answer.
The referee of the proceedings you are asking about has retired due to reaching the age specified in the law on the prosecutor’s office.
It is not known why the experienced prosecutor decided to retire, leaving an extremely important case unfinished. We officially asked the spokesman whether the reason for prosecutor Karlińska’s departure was, for example, the list of witnesses she wanted to call for questioning while investigating Tomasz L. We did not receive an answer to this question.
A spy from the commission
Let us recall that the ABW officers detained Tomasz L. at his place of work, in the archives of the capital’s registry office. This took place on March 17 last year, three weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine.
– He had access to the collections of the office’s archives and to the collections of the Central Archives of Historical Records and the State Archives of the capital city of Warsaw. Due to the nature of the documentation collected in the indicated units, the suspect’s activities constituted a threat to Poland’s internal and external security – Stanisław Żaryn, the then spokesman for the Minister – Coordinator of Special Services, told journalists at a specially convened briefing.
Piotr Świerczek from “Czarno na Białym” TVN24 and Robert Zieliński from tvn24.pl later revealed that Tomasz L. was not an ordinary official of the capital city hall. Żaryn’s spokesman did not inform the public that in the past Tomasz L. had access to the greatest secrets of the Polish secret services. On the recommendation of Elżbieta Jakubiak, a close associate of the president Lech Kaczyński it was sent to the liquidation commission of the Military Special Services. His superior in the commission was Stanisław Cenckiewicz, who as of this month heads the parliamentary commission that is to look for evidence of the influence of Russian services on Polish governments.
This investigation was conducted by prosecutor Karlińska and it is already clear that she will not file an indictment in this case. Another, already appointed prosecutor from the organized crime department is expected to complete the case. We have not received an answer from the spokesman’s office as to whether he has experience in matters in this field.
Greps out of jail
According to unofficial information from tvn24.pl, the ABW officers did not know who Tomasz L. was when they detained him.
– They did not know that he was hired to work at the town hall when Lech Kaczyński was president. They also did not know that the same community had named him as the liquidator of the Military Information Services, says our interlocutor. – The matter turned out to be very unpleasant for the government and everyone who touched it became angry – he adds.
According to the same source, the services learned almost by accident that Tomasz L. was a member of the liquidation committee. His message with an appeal for help, which he sent from behind the walls of the detention center to a political activist he knew, was intercepted.
First in the spy hunting unit
This is pursuant to a personnel decision he signed in 2016 while still serving as prosecutor general Zbigniew Ziobro prosecutor Anna Karlińska worked in the division whose full name is “Masovian Branch Department of the Department of Organized Crime and Corruption of the National Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw”.
She was the first to be transferred to the unit established in this unit by the national prosecutor Bogdan Święczkowski, a special unit dealing with espionage investigations.
She was the first choicebecause only a year earlier it led to the sentencing of Stanisław Sz., a lawyer with Polish and Russian citizenship, to seven years in prison.
Together with officers of the Internal Security Agency, she proved that he worked for the Russian military intelligence GRU. Public fragments of the justification of the Court of Appeal’s judgment show that the man underwent full intelligence training. He committed to provide the Russian services with information on progress in the construction of the gas port in Świnoujście, which is strategic for the country’s energy security. For this purpose, the lawyer visited the Sejm, as we revealed on the tvn24.pl website in 2014.
On the trail of China and Russia
Prosecutor Karlińska is also the author of the indictment against former Samoobrona MP Mateusz P., whom she accused of working for the intelligence services of Russia and China. This is the most complicated trial in the field of espionage because it concerns the activities of an “agent of influence”, which was not directly included in the Penal Code. In an official statement, the National Prosecutor’s Office described the harmfulness of the actions undertaken by political activist Mateusz P.
– By conducting large-scale activities and using his social, professional and political position as well as contacts among politicians and journalists at home and abroad, he influenced social groups in Poland and abroad. He promoted the political goals of the Russian Federation. By trying to shape public opinion by provoking the anti-Ukrainian attitude of Poles and the anti-Polish attitude of Ukrainians, he sought, among other things, to deepen the divisions between Poles and Ukrainians, the prosecutor’s office said.
The findings of this investigation showed that Mateusz P. received remuneration from Russian intelligence. There is still no verdict in this case. When he left pretrial detention after 1,100 days, he became the hero of a loud scandal. As a translator he appeared at the meeting of first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda with refugees from Ukraine.
Another high-profile case handled personally by prosecutor Karlińska concerned Weijing Wang, director of the telecommunications giant Huawei. First, in January 2019, ABW officers detained him together with their former colleague, Captain Piotr D. Prosecutor Karlińska charged both of them with acting on behalf of the Chinese intelligence service.
According to Marek Biernacki, former minister coordinator of secret services, and now an MP with the greatest experience in the services committee, the departure of prosecutor Karlińska is “disturbing”.
– The case of Tomasz L. has its political weight. This suspect of betrayal to Russia is a man in the company of the most important politicians of Law and Justice who avoid answering questions about their relations. Regardless of this case, the most experienced prosecutor in treason cases is leaving and that is a very, very bad signal – says Biernacki.
In July this year, Prosecutor Karlińska received the award at the Chancellery of the President. The official announcement shows that she received a bronze cross for services to the justice system.
– On behalf of the Republic of Poland – and on my own behalf – I would like to thank you very much for your extremely demanding and responsible work, absolutely necessary for the efficient functioning of the justice system, and thus conditioning the safe survival and development of our homeland – these are the words from the president’s letter Andrzej Dudawhich was read to the distinguished prosecutors by Minister Andrzej Dera.
Main photo source: Albert Zawada/PAP