Two dagan after our report on the arrest of top lawyer Roman Giertych, we received a written response to our questions:
Was Mr. Giertych formally charged? Mr. Giertych was detained by the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (abbreviated CBA), like 11 other suspects in the case. The detentions took place as part of an investigation conducted by the CBA Regional Office in the city of Wroclaw, under the supervision of the Regional Prosecutors Office in the city of Pozna, into activities to the detriment of a company listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The evidence gathered by the CBA indicates that the detainees took part in an organized procedure consisting in siphoning money from the company as well as appropriating and laundering money. The damage to the property has exceeded PLN 90 million. Mr. Giertych is suspected of a crime.
Was he conscious when the charges were read to him? Mr. Giertychs lawyer is of the opinion that his client is not formally charged as he was not conscious when the charges were read to him. How do you react to this? According to a medical opinion, Mr. Giertychs state of health allowed for him to be presented with charges. The prosecutor was allowed to proceed based on this medical opinion.
What are the charges against Mister Giertych? Mr. Giertych is suspected of taking part in a group whose activities caused a PLN 90 million damage to a stock-listed company.
Adjudicating preventive measures against other suspects in the same case, the judge concluded that the prosecution had no valid case. The judge ruled he saw no basis for the allegations and no reason to remand them. So, the prosecutions case is not strong. Are you still planning to move ahead? This investigation is based on a strong evidence. It is a complex investigation against an organized group which brought damage to a specific company. The courts decision did not challenge the charges brought against Mr. Giertych. This investigation is pending.
How long do you expect this case to take? This investigation will last as long as it is needed to gather evidence, question witnesses and draw conclusions.
What services were involved in the detention of Mr. Giertych? Mr. Giertych was detained by The Central Anti-Corruption Bureau. This special service has been empowered to conduct this investigation.
Why was mister Giertych handcuffed before he was tasks away? Was he likely to escape? All the measures applied by the CBA against Mr. Giertych were based on and congruent with the Polish Penal Code.
Were legal rules concerning the duty of confidentiality for lawyers violated during the search of mister Giertychs home or his law offices? Mr. Giertych was detained a part of the investigation. In such instances, the CBA searches for documents and electronic storage devices with the aim of securing them for the sake of an investigation. pursuant to international legal aid, the Italian Carabinieri assisted by the officers of the CBA Regional Office in Wroclaw also searched the property belonging to Roman G., located in Italy. Such activities are provided for in the Polish Penal Code.
At any point in time, were officers from the authorities alone in the law offices without supervision of their actions by either mister Giertych or a representative of the rada adwokacka (the Polish bar association)? No, all the investigative activities were lawful and conducted based on a strong legal basis. No violations were reported.
Is the prosecution legally allowed to search law offices and seize evidence in the absence of the lawyer the offices belong to? The investigative activities had a strong legal basis provided by the competent authorities. Mr. Giertychs legal representative attended these activities.
Do the authorities in Poland have the legal right to file information they obtained during a search that is entirely unrelated to the reason for that search and to use it at a later date in a different case? During this investigation the CBA collected documents and electronic storage devices related only to this case. No other pieces of evidence were secured.
Were any materials seized during the search of mister Giertychs home or his law offices? If so, what were they? Computers? Laptops? Documents? USB flash drives? Any other information media? Only documents and electronic storage devices.
Do you expect the judge to approve the preventive measures? A prohibition on leaving the territory, a temporary ban from his profession, or police supervision? For the answer to this question please refer to the Regional Prosecutors Office in Pozna. We do not comment on the courts decisions.
Under what threat of punishment is mister Giertych? The charges brought against him carry a penalty of a prison term of up to 10 years.
How long will this case take? This investigation will last as long as it is needed to gather evidence,question witnesses and draw conclusions.
For now, this arrest and these preventive measures have gagged a prominent critic of the present government. Is this case politically motivated? This is a strictly criminal case. This investigation is conducted into activities to the detriment of a company listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange. The group identified by the CBA caused damage to the companys assets in the amount of PLN 90 million. Its a serious case, one of a purely criminal nature. The evidence gathered by the CBA clearly shows that Roman G. along with 11 other suspects in the case caused a detriment in company (two public companies were participators). This case has nothing to do with the public activities of Ryszard K., Roman G. or the 10 remaining detainees. Making such allegations is an element of the line of defense adopted by Roman G. Many bogus and absurd allegations against the CBA and the Prosecutors Office have been made in relation to this case, with Roman G. himself and his relatives being behind a number of them.
Mister Giertychs temporary ban from his profession means a number of controversial cases against the Polish government have been suspended. It is reasonable to conclude that the government benefits from suspending mister Giertych? For the answer to this question, please refer to the Regional Prosecutors Office in Pozna. It is not our part of this case.
Since when do you have indications that mister Giertych has been breaking the law? This investigation was launched by the CBA in 2017, and the CBA and the Prosecutors office have been investigating the case ever since.
Did you, in the run-up to the arrest, use any spy tactics, inwigilacja tactics, concerning mister Giertych, such as tapping phones, tailing the suspect, or canvassing? All the measures tasks by the CBA or the Prosecutors Office were based on the Polish legal system. Such details are not to be shared with the media.
Did you interview any of mister Giertychs clients? For the answer to this question, please refer to the Regional Prosecutors Office in Pozna.
If so, what information did you hope to acquire? For the answer to this question, please refer to the Regional Prosecutors Office in Pozna.
Who are the witnesses in the case against mister Giertych? For the answer to this question, please refer to the Regional Prosecutors Office in Pozna.
The prosecution only requested that the other suspects be remanded. Why then was mister Giertych detained? Mr. Giertych, just like 11 other suspects in the case, was detained. Hes a detainee. Note that the Polish code of criminal procedure sets forth the rules of applying two distinct procedures detention and judgment. Detention can last up to 48h and derives from the prosecutors decision. The judgment is the decision of the court it can last even a few months. Mr. Giertych was detained and presented with charges. The investigation against him and other detainees in the case is going on.
Why was the remand of the other suspects rejected in this case? It was the courts decision, one the prosecutors office challenged. We do not comment on the courts decisions.
Are there plans to end the discussion about whether mister Giertych was formally charged, by once more formally? Mr. Giertych is suspected of a crime. There is no need to retake this procedure.
Stanislaw Zaryn Director of the National Security Department Spokesman for Polands Minister-Special Services Coordinator THE CHANCELLERY OF THE PRIME MINISTER