Based on such a crash test, the Speaker of the Sejm will have to consider whether he wants to recognize the actions of unconstitutional bodies or not – said Włodzimierz Wróbel, judge of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court, in “Fakty po Faktach”. He commented on the legal situation related to the expiry of the parliamentary mandates of Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik after the judgments of the unrecognized Chamber of the Supreme Court in this case.
Professor Włodzimierz Wróbel, judge of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court and head of the Department of Criminal Law at the Jagiellonian University, spoke in “Fakty po Faktach” on TVN24 about the situation Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik.
READ MORE – IN POINTS: “We have a lawless community.” The case of Kamiński and Wąsik step by step
They were sentenced by a final judgment to prison terms, and therefore the Speaker of the Sejm Szymon Hołownia issued decisions confirming the expiry of their parliamentary mandates. They appealed to the Supreme Court, where the Chamber of Extraordinary Control and Public Affairs overturned the Marshal’s decisions. However, this Chamber is not recognized as a court under European law, a Court of Justice of the European Union stated that it is not an “independent and impartial court”.
Meanwhile, on January 10, the Chamber of Labor and Social Insurance will also hear politicians’ appeals against the Marshal’s decisions. According to Hołownia and many legal authorities, this chamber is authorized to consider appeals.
As it turned out on Friday, an unrecognized audit chamber issued a decision in the Kamiński case without the original case files.
What can Marshal Hołownia do now? Judge Wróbel: this is a crash test
Judge Wróbel talked about the situation of the Speaker of the Sejm and explained what might happen in the case now.
– This is a bit of a (…) crash test, a crash test. This means that in the event of the functioning of such unconstitutional bodies, other entities must now assess what and with whom they are dealing, he said.
According to him, the Chamber of Extraordinary Control “could not really overturn the Marshal’s decision, because only the Supreme Court can do it.” And – he emphasized – “this chamber is not a court.” – I say so, Mr. President (Piotr – ed.) Prusinowski from the Chamber of Labor says so (…), but of course the entity that will now have to assess all this is the Marshal of the Sejm as a constitutional body. And he will have to consider based on such a crash test whether he wants to recognize the actions of unconstitutional bodies or not – explained Wróbel.
In his opinion, “the situation is extraordinary in the sense that it is not always necessary to restore the rule of law.” – But these types of procedures for restoring the rule of law seem to be the most obvious or normal ones – he added.
When asked what he would advise the Marshal of the Sejm, Judge Wróbel replied: – Wait for the ruling of the Supreme Court, which hears appeals against the Marshal’s decisions (…) stating the expiry of the mandate of a deputy. Simply.
What does the Supreme Court recognize on appeal? Judge Wróbel explains
Judge Wróbel also talked about the subject of cases related to politicians’ mandates PISwhich the Chamber of Labor and Social Insurance is to deal with on January 10.
– It will not so much deal with the issue of their mandate, but whether the Speaker of the Sejm – who was obliged to do so by the constitution – when he issued the decision declaring the expiry of the mandate (…), whether he made a mistake or not. So much. Whether he complied with all such procedural requirements or not – explained the criminal justice.
When asked what kind of possible mistake he was talking about, he stated that “when the final judgment was passed, it is known that the gentlemen ceased to be MPs, their mandates expired, as it is said in the law.”
– The reason for such expiration may be very different situations. We had a final conviction, but there are other, more complicated situations. For example, someone could resign from being an MP. It would also seem that it is so clear, but for example he could have been blackmailed. (…) It would be necessary to really examine whether this waiver is true or false – he explained.
As the judge said, “when such a situation occurs, the first entity to explain the situation is the Speaker of the Sejm, who investigates what happened.” – Here he received a final court verdict, sentencing him. He probably read the verdict and realized that it was a conviction for an intentional crime and a prison sentence, as the law states. And he will clearly state in his statement about the expiry of his mandate that these gentlemen are not MPs – he continued.
As Wróbel said, “the consequence of such a statement should be taking away the ballots.”
He also used an analogy to describe this situation. – It’s a bit like a situation when someone became an heir. The person closest to him died, so it is obvious that he inherits everything. (…) But to eliminate all doubts, you go to a notary and get a certificate of inheritance, i.e. that you have acquired an inheritance – he explained.
– But now someone might question it. This means saying: No, the Marshal made a mistake, because, for example, there was no final conviction at all, or the final conviction contained no prison sentence, but a different penalty. And he can (…) submit this case to the control of the Supreme Court and ask the Supreme Court: please check whether the Marshal’s assessment is actually correct, whether the facts he stated actually exist – continued the Supreme Court judge.
As he said, “it’s hard for me to imagine that this would happen in this case, but in these more complicated cases, the court may have a different opinion than the marshal.” The judge said that the Supreme Court could then overturn the decision of the Speaker of the Sejm.
– Then we return to the starting point. This means that the court’s assessment is then important, so the gentlemen are still MPs – added Wróbel.
“These are the effects of abandoning the constitution over these eight years”
Speaking about the current situation in the justice system and the Supreme Court, Judge Wróbel said that “we are dealing with a disclosure of a mechanism that was once created.” – Disclosure of the mechanism of operation of the special court. One created by politicians for their own needs, to protect their own interests – he added.
He emphasized that “today it has become so public, but this process has been going on for many years.”
In his opinion, the Chamber of Extraordinary Control is a court that “even in name is special.” – Now it sounds ironic to call this part created in the Supreme Court or at the Supreme Court the Extraordinary Chamber – he said.
According to Wróbel, this court “functions just as the creators probably intended the special court to function: not particularly concerned about procedures, not particularly concerned about the law, and it protects the interests of politicians.”
– These are the effects of abandoning the constitution over these eight years and creating unconstitutional institutions – he added.
Main photo source: PAP/Paweł Supernak