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The case of Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik. The Supreme Court published a written justification for revoking the discontinuation of the case

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On Monday, the Supreme Court’s website published a written justification for the June judgment repealing the discontinuation of the case of, among others, Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik, convicted in the first instance and pardoned by the president. The case may be referred back to the county court.

“The court of first instance found that the actions of the defendants exceeded their powers, acted to the detriment of public and private interests, as well as the implementation of a number of other prohibited acts. However, the judgment issued by it was not substantively verified in the course of the instance control” – he recalled Supreme Court in over 30 pages of written justification.

Meanwhile, as indicated by the Supreme Court, “such verification was not only required by law, but also desirable from the perspective of the public interest.” “The importance of this case goes far beyond the interests of the defendants and the victims” – stressed the judges who signed the verdict from the beginning of June this year.


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The Supreme Court annulled the discontinuation of the case

The Supreme Court in the Criminal Chamber on June 6, composed of three judges – Andrzej Stępka, Piotr Mirek and Małgorzata Gierszon – annulled the discontinuation of the case of the former heads of the CBA made in March 2016 by the District Court in Warsaw and referred the case to that court for re-examination.

Four days earlier, however, he issued a ruling related to this case Constitutional Court. In the case of a dispute over powers between the President of the Republic of Poland and the Supreme Court, the Constitutional Tribunal ruled that the power of clemency is the exclusive and uncontrollable power of the President of the Republic of Poland, which has final legal effects, and the Supreme Court has no powers to control the exercise of the power of clemency by the president.

READ MORE: There is a decision of the Constitutional Tribunal regarding the dispute over the right of pardon

“Due to the content of this ruling, the Supreme Court is of the opinion that the ruling of the Constitutional Tribunal of June 2 this year regarding the dispute over powers did not have any legal effects,” the Supreme Court ruled on June 6.

Pardoned before final judgment

This case has a history of almost ten years. In March 2015, the District Court for Warszawa-Śródmieście sentenced the former head of the CBA in the first instance Mariusz Kaminski (today – the head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration) and Maciej Wasik (then deputy of Kamiński in the CBA; currently deputy minister of internal affairs and administration) to 3 years in prison, inter alia, for exceeding the powers and illegal operational activities of the CBA during the “land scandal” in 2007. Two other former members of the CBA management were sentenced to sentences after 2.5 years.

Before the District Court in Warsaw examined the appeals, in November 2015, the president Andrzej Duda pardoned all four illegally convicted. In March 2016, the District Court reversed the judgment of the District Court and, in view of the President’s pardon, legally discontinued the case. From this judgment of the Supreme Court, the auxiliary prosecutors filed cassation appeals to the Supreme Court.

Later, the case was suspended in the Supreme Court for a long time, due to, inter alia, a dispute over powers between the President of the Republic of Poland and the Supreme Court, brought before the Constitutional Tribunal by the Marshal of the Sejm. Earlier, however – before submitting the dispute over powers to the Constitutional Tribunal – the Supreme Court in May 2017, he issued a resolution relating to the issue of the right of pardon.

At that time, seven Supreme Court judges – in response to a question from Supreme Court judges examining the cassation in the case of former CBA chiefs – decided that the presidential pardon may only be applied to legally convicted persons. The former heads of the CBA have not been legally convicted. “The application of the right of clemency before the date of the judgment’s finality does not have procedural effects,” the resolution of the Supreme Court also stated.

The Supreme Court annulled the discontinuation of the case of Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej WąsikMichał Tracz/Fakty TVN

Justification of the Supreme Court

“The resolution presented above is binding for the Supreme Court in the case under consideration, and as a consequence, the cassation appeal was taken into account and the judgment under appeal was annulled” – it was stated in the written justification of the judgment.

As emphasized in this justification, the Supreme Court, in the composition examining cassation appeals concerning the former heads of the CBA, following the view expressed in the resolution of May 2017, decided that “on the basis of the case being examined, it has not lost its binding force”.

At the same time, in the written justification, the Supreme Court added that in connection with the previously signaled submission by the defense attorneys of Kamiński and Wąsik of statements about the withdrawal of the appeal, it should be noted that to date these statements have not yet had any procedural effects. “The defendants cannot bear the negative effects of their decisions made on the basis of an act of a state authority that did not cause the procedural effects indicated therein. In the circumstances of the case under consideration, this must mean enabling the defendants to take a position on the validity of the previously submitted statements,” the Supreme Court noted.

He also added that “issues remain open for further proceedings” related to the performance of the MP’s mandate by the defendants Kamiński and Wąsik, which “became valid as a result of the annulment of the judgment under appeal”.

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