The mayor of Szprotawa spent nine months in custody. In January, the court acquitted him of bribery charges. Mirosław Gąsik argued from the beginning that he was innocent. In detention, he says, he experienced “degrading conditions.” He also sees a political motive in his detention. – It suited them because I was from the opposition, I was and am from PSL – he says.
Mirosław Gąsik – mayor of Szprotawa in the Lubuskie Voivodeship – the day on which he was detained by Central Anticorruption Bureau he will never forget. It was October 23, 2019. When the CBA agents entered his office, he was sitting in his chair.
– I was not a criminal – he emphasizes in an interview with TVN24. – I was taken away and taken out of the office. This action was well planned because it was filmed. The men knew exactly what to do. Of course, I was put in handcuffs, he recalls.
He spent nine months in detention in Poznań. – I slept on a mattress on the ground, without a toilet, without running water. Very degrading conditions – emphasizes Gąsik.
The detention was extended several times, usually by two months. Gąsik believes that it was supposed to break him mentally. And he explains: – Strangely enough, the longer the arrest lasted, the longer my resistance lasted, I was moved to cells and units to more and more dangerous criminals. At the end, I was hanging out with very dangerous criminals, grypsmen, members of organized international criminal groups.
– I felt very insecure there, (…) so threatened – he says.
The CBA accused the politician of accepting a bribe in exchange for setting up a tender for the sale of an attractive investment plot in Szprotawa. But the alleged investors, who were actually CBA agents, gave half a million zlotys to a local priest from the Polish Catholic parish. The priest was immediately detained.
The mayor says this about the matter: – It suited them because I was from the opposition, I was and am from PSL. This situation suited them very well. They dragged the priest into this intrigue. In my opinion, this is also a victim of this whole situation.
The priest suffered from cancer and died a year after his arrest. It is not known how the bribe was handed over. The evidence collected did not convince the court. The case was classified as top secret from the beginning. The justification for the judgment was presented without the presence of the media and the public.
“We have never had such a complicated case before the District Court in Żagań”
Vice-President of the District Court in Żagań, Jędrzej Kolczyński, informs TVN24 that “as far as Mr. Mirosław Gąsik is concerned, an acquittal was passed on January 24.” – The accusation concerned the so-called bribery, taking advantage of a public office – he says.
– When it comes to court proceedings, we have never had such a difficult and complicated case before the District Court in Żagań – he admits.
Krzysztof Paszyk (KP Polish People’s Party – Trzecia Droga) claims that “first of all, the court showed that the actions against Mayor Mirosław Gąsik carried out by the CBA were confusingly similar to those that they (CBA agents – editor’s note) once carried out against Andrzej Lepper.” – Faked and invented evidence, exceeding the powers of officials – he enumerates.
Deputy mayor: we were stigmatized by the then ruling community
When Mirosław Gąsik was in custody, Szprotawa, with a population of 11,000, was ruled by a commissioner appointed by the voivode. This function was entrusted to a Law and Justice activist.
Dorota Grzeszczak, deputy mayor of Szprotawa, says: – We were stigmatized by the ruling circles that took over the office here. I was then demoted.
He also adds that “the verdict announced on January 24 was an obvious verdict for me.”
Andrzej Stambulski, chairman of the City Council in Szprotawa, notes that “information has spread – because the mayor is from PSL – that a politician from PSL has been detained and a media campaign practically began, from the press to television.”
– A man was locked up for nine months without any evidence – he adds.
The mayor feels “harmed” by the “evil industry”
The inhabitants of Szprotawa and the mayor’s colleagues stood behind him all the time. A month after leaving prison, Mirosław Gąsik returned to his position. Meanwhile, the announcement of the verdict coincided with the release from prison of those responsible for his detention. Because it Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik they headed the CBA at that time.
– An innocent person was put in prison and turned into a criminal for nine months. A man who never hurt a single person. On the other hand, after 15 days, criminals with final sentences are released, who have harmed many people and many families, and at the same time they are made heroes – comments Jerzy Chmara, councilor of Szprotawa.
The mayor says he does not feel like a political prisoner, but asks why neither the president intervened in his case Andrzej Duda, nor the Episcopate. He does not hide the fact that what happened four years ago changed his entire life.
– I definitely feel aggrieved by this wicked system, this industry of evil, which was created by these gentlemen, by Kamiński, Wąsik and all the rest – says Gąsik.
Main photo source: TVN24