Adam Bodnar, Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General, said in “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24 that he is “not at all convinced” whether the president really wants to complete the entire pardon procedure for Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik. At the same time, he said that issuing a position on a possible break in serving politicians’ sentences would be a matter of “a few days.”
Adam BodnarMinister of Justice and Prosecutor General, commented in “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24 on the case of convicted Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik. President Andrzej Duda announced on Thursday that initiates pardon proceedings towards these PiS politicians. He asked Bodnar to release Kamiński and Wąsik from prison for the duration of the pardon proceedings. Bodnar confirmed on Friday that he had received the president’s letter.
When is Bodnar’s position? We’re talking about “a few days”
Bodnar said in the program that he received the case files on Monday, and he will analyze them from Tuesday. He added that there are “quite a few” volumes of these files.
– The principle is that at this stage of the proceedings, the prosecutor general – at the request of the president, and the president expressed such a request – is obliged to initiate pardon proceedings. And of course I made this decision (…). However, when handing over the files, the prosecutor general must express his position on this matter. And now we will look at the whole matter from this angle, he said.
Asked how long it might take, he said he thought “it would take a while.” He specified that we were talking about “a few days”. He added that the president would then receive the case files along with his position. – And then it’s up to the president what he will do with it – added Bodnar.
Bodnar: I am not convinced that the president wants to complete the pardon procedure
The Minister of Justice said that initiating a pardon procedure is one thing, and the prosecutor general’s ordering a break in serving a sentence is another thing.
– I am not at all convinced that the president really wants to complete the entire procedure. Because if Mr. President demands the initiation of these pardon proceedings and at the same time writes that his 2015 pardon is valid and that Mr. Wąsik and Mr. Kamiński are MPs – because it is in this letter – then I wonder whether Mr. President takes note of the judgment of the second instance court in this case. Because none of the decisions that were sent to me contain information about this court judgment – the TVN24 guest continued.
– Now let’s imagine a situation – purely theoretically – in which I decide to pause the execution of the sentence. Then the pardon procedure continues, and the president extends, extends, extends (…). And it may be that with this extension we will reach the end of the president’s term of office and then it will probably be much more difficult to make another decision to end this break in the execution of the sentence – he added.
Bodnar: the president still has an instrument in his hands in the form of a pardon
The Minister of Justice 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.”
Bodnar was asked whether he interpreted the president’s move regarding Wąsik and Kamiński as involving him and, more broadly, the government Donald Tusk – in this case. – I think these circumstances need to be taken into account. And unfortunately, I also remember that there are various sensitive matters that the president has been conducting for years and does not want to end them – he added.
The case of Kamiński and Wąsik
In March 2015, Mariusz Kamiński i Maciej Wąsik – the former head of the CBA and his deputy – were illegally sentenced to three years in prison and a 10-year ban on holding public positions for exceeding their powers in connection with the CBA’s action regarding the so-called land scandal. In the trial of the former heads of the CBA, the court found that Kamiński had planned and organized the CBA provocation, although there was no legal or factual basis for initiating the CBA action in the Ministry of Agriculture, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Andrzej Lepper. The illegally convicted former heads of the CBA were pardoned by President Duda in 2015.
The case returned to the docket in connection with the Supreme Court’s ruling of June 2023, when the Criminal Chamber, after cassation appeals filed by subsidiary prosecutors, overturned the discontinuance of the case of the former heads of the CBA made in March 2016 by the District Court in Warsaw in connection with the law applied by the president. grace. In mid-2023, the Supreme Court referred the case to the District Court for reconsideration.
On December 20, 2023, the District Court in Warsaw sentenced Kamiński and Wąsik to two years of imprisonment. On January 9, the police detained Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik, who were staying at the Presidential Palace at the time.
Main photo source: Jakub Szymczuk/Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland