The District Court for Warsaw-Mokotów discontinued the proceedings against the Warsaw prosecutor Justyna Brzozowska, who in 2015 refused to initiate an investigation into the reprivatization scandal. The National Prosecutor’s Office accused the investigator of failing to fulfill her duties and acting to the detriment of the public interest. The prosecutor’s office announced that it would appeal the court’s decision. Brzozowska is a member of the Association of Prosecutors “Lex Super Omnia”, which, among other things, criticizes the actions taken by Zbigniew Ziobro.
On Friday, the District Court for Warsaw-Mokotów decided to discontinue the proceedings in this case due to the lack of the required permission to prosecute the prosecutor.
In the justification, Judge Łukasz Malinowski noted, inter alia, that in the opinion of the court liquidated Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court which authorized the prosecution of the prosecutor was not a court, in accordance with the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, the European Court of Human Rights and CJEUand therefore could not effectively waive the prosecutor’s immunity.
– In the court’s opinion, the prosecutor’s immunity was not effectively waived due to the fact that the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court was not a court within the meaning of Article 45(1) of the Constitution and Article 6(1) of the European Convention on Human Rights, and only a body with such features may adjudicate on granting permission to hold the prosecutor’s office criminally liable – judge Malinowski justified.
1. Everyone has the right to a fair and public hearing, without undue delay, by a competent, impartial and independent court. (…)
1. Everyone is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial tribunal established by law in the determination of his civil rights and obligations or of any criminal charge against him. Court proceedings are public, but the press and the public may be excluded from all or part of the court hearing for reasons of morality, public order or national security in a democratic society, when the interests of minors so require, or when it serves to protect the private life of the parties, or in special circumstances, to the extent deemed strictly necessary by the court, where publicity would be detrimental to the interests of justice. (…)
He also recalled the content of the Act of 9 June 2022 amending the Act on the Supreme Court, especially to the extent that it led to the liquidation of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court.
The judgment is invalid. Prosecutors said they would sue him. – After receiving the written justification of the court, the prosecutor’s office will appeal against the decision of the District Court for Warsaw-Mokotów – said the spokesman for the National Prosecutor’s Office, prosecutor Łukasz Łapczyński.
The prosecutor declined to open an investigation
The Department of Internal Affairs of the National Prosecutor’s Office informed about the indictment in this case at the beginning of 2021. According to PK, in March 2015 the accused prosecutor allegedly refused to initiate an investigation after three months, despite the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau “extensive materials indicating a number of crimes committed during the reprivatization of Warsaw real estate”.
According to the prosecutor’s office at the time, the materials collected by the CBA amounted to 20 volumes, of which 10 volumes are classified materials. According to the findings of the PK, the prosecutor “did not carry out any activities aimed at their procedural verification” and concluded that “the cases described in the materials do not constitute crimes”. PK reported that the prosecutor “limited herself to drawing up three official notes, including one of the conversations with the CBA officers”.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the investigation, which the defendant refused to initiate, was not launched until October 2016. As PK already reported in 2021, this investigation was “a result of the vetting of abandoned investigations in reprivatization cases in Warsaw and Krakow after the reform of the prosecutor’s office, which resulted in about 300 proceedings and filing of indictments against several dozen people to the courts.”
According to the prosecutors, the evidence that the accused prosecutor had already in March 2015, among other things, “led to charges against, among others, the well-known Warsaw lawyer Robert N. and the former Deputy Director of the Real Estate Office of the City of Warsaw Jakub R. in connection with with the reprivatization of real estate in Warsaw of great value.
Valid the prosecutor’s immunity was waived in 2019 challenged as an independent body by the Disciplinary Chamber. Earlier – in the first instance – the prosecutor’s disciplinary court refused to waive the immunity. That court considered that the prosecutor could have decided not to investigate and that it was within her powers and competence to do so.
Lex Super Omnia: accused of issuing a substantive decision
The date of the beginning of the trial was announced, among others, by the prosecutor’s association “Lex Super Omnia”, which supported the accused during Friday’s hearing. According to the association, she is accused “for issuing a substantive decision that politicians did not like”, and her immunity was waived by the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court, which “according to Polish and European jurisprudence was not a court”.
PK spokesman Łukasz Łapczyński replied that the message that Brzozowska was accused of a trial decision was “false”. – The accusation concerns flagrant omissions in the recognition of materials indicating a number of crimes committed during the reprivatization of Warsaw real estate – he argued.
Main photo source: Wojciech Olkusnik/PAP