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The scandal surrounding the Justice Fund. The court rejected the appeals against the arrest of three suspects

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The District Court in Warsaw upheld the decisions of the court of first instance to apply pre-trial detention to three people in connection with the activities of the Justice Fund, including priest Michał O., president of the Profeto Foundation – informed Przemysław Nowak, spokesman for the National Prosecutor's Office, on Wednesday.

In March, at the request of the prosecutor's office, the court of first instance decided to arrest three people detained by the Internal Security Agency – former director of the Justice Fund department at the Ministry of Justice Urszula D., deputy director of this department Karolina K. and Michał O. – beneficiary of funds from the Justice Fund from the Profeto Foundation .

In its justification, the court stated that there were three reasons for applying the measure: fear of procedural fraud, fear of escape and severe punishment to be imposed on the suspects.

The defenders appealed against these decisions.

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READ MORE ON KONKRET24: Five main criticisms of the Justice Fund

The decision is upheld

Prosecutor Przemysław Nowak said that at the end of April, the District Court in Warsaw upheld the decisions of the court in Warsaw, thus finding the complaints unfounded.

“The court emphasized that the evidence collected in the case indicates a high probability that the suspects committed the crimes charged against them. It found that the evidence indicated as the basis for factual findings can be 'reliable' at this stage,” the spokesman said. He added that the court referred to specific evidence (including explanations and testimonies) and specific circumstances of the case, which indicate a high probability of committing crimes.

READ MORE: : He oversaw the Justice Fund. What do we know about Marcin Romanowski

The court did not agree with the applicants' position, who argued that the prosecutor was improperly empowered and the investigative team was improperly appointed. “In particular, the court did not share the position that 'all actions taken by prosecutor Jacek Bilewicz do not produce any legal effects',” emphasized prosecutor Nowak.

The court noted that the reinstatement of Dariusz Barski to active service by the previous Prosecutor General was made in violation of applicable provisions (based on an inapplicable transitional provision), hence it had no legal effects.

“There is a justified fear that the suspect will encourage people to give false testimony”

The appellate court also shared the position of the court of first instance that there were special conditions for the use of pre-trial detention in the case.

Proc. Nowak noted that in the case of Michał O. the court stated that “taking into account that the suspect acted to the detriment of the public interest, the size of the damage amounted to millions of zlotys, as well as the organized nature of the illegal procedure, which translates into its high degree of social harmfulness, it should be stated that that the possibility of imposing a severe penalty (if the suspect is found guilty to the extent requested by the prosecutor) is probable.

“The court also confirmed that in the circumstances of the present case, there is a justified fear that the suspect will incite false testimony or explanations or otherwise unlawfully obstruct criminal proceedings, in particular due to the fact that the suspect was accused of committing acts jointly and in concert with others. people. According to the court, in such a procedural configuration it is obvious that, while at large, the suspect may attempt to influence the content of explanations and testimonies of other people in order to develop the version of events that is most favorable from his point of view,” Nowak emphasized.

He noted that the court did not find any violation of procedural law or the right to defense that should result in the repeal of the decisions.

“Furthermore, the court did not agree with the defenders' position that in this case there were so-called 'negative grounds for pre-trial detention' justifying the waiver of the above-mentioned preventive measure,” said the PK spokesman.

The scandal surrounding the Justice Fund

At the end of January, the attorney general Adam Bodnar established an investigative team at the National Prosecutor's Office to examine the correctness of management and spending of funds from the Justice Fund established to provide immediate and free assistance to crime victims. On February 19, an investigation was initiated into the correctness of management and expenditure of funds from the Justice Fund.

On March 26 and 27, the Internal Security Agency detained five people in this case, and the apartments and places of business of 25 people were searched, including: two houses of the former Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro and the room of the former deputy minister of justice, Michał Woś, in the parliamentary hotel.

READ MORE: TVN24 unofficially: there will be applications to waive the immunity of Sovereign Poland politicians

The main purpose of the Justice Fund is to help victims of crime. Supreme Chamber of Control in September 2021, after analyzing the fund, it assessed that the funds were spent in an uneconomical and inappropriate manner, which was supposed to favor the emergence of corruption mechanisms. The irregularities allegedly concerned over PLN 280 million.

Main photo source: tvn24

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