I have not heard such a public statement by President Jarosław Kaczyński – said Błażej Poboży, advisor to President Andrzej Duda. The PiS president, referring to the case of Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik convicted by a final judgment and the path of pardon proceedings chosen by the president, expressed hope that “the president will make up his mind and finally release them.” – With the method he used, it could last another year – he added.
On December 20 last year, the District Court in Warsaw legally sentenced PiS politicians Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik to two years’ imprisonment for abuse of power in connection with the so-called the land scandal of 2007. Two weeks ago, the police detained both politicians PISwho were incarcerated in prisons.
On January 11, the President announced the initiation of pardon proceedings against Kamiński and Wąsik based on the Code of Criminal Procedure at the request of their wives. He also asked the prosecutor general to suspend the execution of the sentence and release them from custody for the duration of the pardon proceedings.
On Friday, the president of PiS Jaroslaw Kaczynski he went to the prison in Przytuły Stare (Masovian Voivodeship), where Wąsik is serving his prison sentence. Referring to the case of the convicts, he said to another PiS politician, loudly enough that the cameras recorded it: – I hope that the president will decide and finally free himself. – With the method he used, it could last another year – he added.
Poboży: I have not heard such a public statement by President Kaczyński
Błażej Poboża, advisor to the president, was asked about these words on Sunday by TVN24. – The president effectively pardoned the MPs Sejm of the Republic of Poland Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik in 2015. At the same time, this procedure was questioned then and is still questioned unfairly by some politicians and sympathetic commentators from the currently ruling camp, he said.
He added that “this is one of the reasons why the president has now resorted to the procedure set out in the Code of Criminal Procedure and initiated the pardon procedure.”
– Currently, the Minister of Justice, the Prosecutor General, holds the keys to the release of political prisoners Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik – said Poboży.
He added that “regardless of the duration of the pardon procedure, there is nothing to prevent it and this is what we are calling for, this is what we are appealing for, this is what the (former – ed.) Commander-in-Chief of Police is also calling for in today’s letter, which was published to Minister Bodnar, you can now decide to release Wąsik and Kamiński from custody.
When asked about Kaczyński’s words, he replied that he had “not heard such a public statement by the president.”
Paprocka about the president’s decision
Presidential Minister Małgorzata Paprocka was asked on Sunday on Radio ZET why the president – having the opportunity to apply an act of clemency to convicts, resulting directly from Article 139 of the Constitution – did not use it.
Paprocka pointed out that the president pardoned both former heads of the CBA in 2015 and – as she said – “it was a pardon in the form of the so-called individual amnesty, not described in the Code of Criminal Procedure, solely on the basis of the constitution.”
She added that “at such a moment, if the judgment is final, the entire procedure is regulated by the Code of Criminal Procedure.”
She said that she was deeply convinced that the moment an act of mercy was issued under Article 139 of the Constitution – without carrying out the procedure in the form chosen by the president, “she believes that this act would not be respected.”
Paprocka argued that the president decided on the shortest possible path of the pardon proceedings, initiated under presidential procedure, “so that it would be carried out 100 percent in accordance with the law in force since 1997, so that neither politicians, courts, nor doctrine could question it.”
– This is the shortest method that can be used today: initiating (proceedings) under presidential procedure, with the sole position of the Prosecutor General – she added.
Paprocka: If the president had the opportunity to order a break in serving his sentence, he would do it
The minister was also asked whether, if the Minister of Justice and Attorney General Adam Bodnar decided today to release Kamiński and Wąsik, whether the president would refer to his pardon from 2015 and whether he would continue the current form of pardon.
Paprocka said that Bodnar did not address the president in any way regarding this matter. – He didn’t ask, he didn’t ask for a meeting – she added. She said that the president initiated the proceedings in a clear procedure that leads to a clear position. – It is difficult to imagine that the president would deny his assessment of the situation – the one he made in 2015 – she said.
In Paprocka’s opinion, such doubts are “the prosecutor general’s looking for tricks.” She emphasized that if the president had the opportunity today to order a break in serving Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik’s sentence, he “would undoubtedly do it.” – Only the prosecutor general can do this today, and he bears full responsibility for what is happening in this case at this stage – she said.
Adam Bodnar, Minister of Justice and Attorney General On Monday, in “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24, he reminded that “the president still has an instrument in his hands in the form of a pardon”, emphasizing that “he does not need the prosecutor general for anything.” He said that if the president wanted, he “could issue an act of pardon tomorrow, just like that.”
What were Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik convicted of?
Both Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik were legally convicted by the Warsaw district court for failure to fulfill their duties and exceeding their powers. This concerns the period from December 14, 2006 to July 5, 2007 and activities related to the so-called land scandal. During this period, Mariusz Kamiński was the head of the Central Anticorruption Bureau, and Maciej Wąsik was his deputy. Two other members of the then CBA management were also sentenced together with them.
As the district court stated, Mariusz Kamiński “exceeded the powers granted to him and failed to fulfill his obligations” in that he “directed the commission of” a prohibited act by the CBA officers subordinated to him “despite the lack of legal grounds.” The judgment says, among other things: about planning, organizing and implementing “the provocation using the CBA officers carrying out his orders” (including Maciej Wąsik – ed.). He states that he “ordered the initiation of land de-agriculture on the basis of forged documents.” To make this credible – as the court states – “he ordered the forging of a number of documents from government and local government administration offices”, which were mentioned in the judgment.
Main photo source: TVN24