Polish lawyers have placed their hopes on the European Union. It should help defend the independence of the judiciary. The EU is trying to tackle Poland harder – if the government does not respect the rule of law, there will be no financial support – but the Polish Government does not seem to be impressed by Brussels threats.
A month ago, Roman Giertych, one of the most famous lawyers and former Deputy Prime Minister in Poland, was suddenly put in cuffs. Secret Service will also search his house during the arrest. During that search, the top lawyer loses consciousness.
The time of the raid doesnt seem accidental. The next day, an explosive case would be dealt with in court: a wealthy businessman who may be blackmailed by a high-ranking member of the government.
Jakub Wende, lawyer of the Giertych family: “Giertych was arrested on Thursday while he had to defend a case in court on Friday allegedly disclose information that would be “uncomfortable” for the government camp.”
Lawyer Jacek Dubois is working on the same case at the time. “The day before he was arrested, Giertych called me. He said he had documents that are incriminating one of the most important people in the current government. I think they mainly wanted to get their hands on those documents.”
Secret Service agents are invading not only the house, but also Giertychs office. They search everything and take files with them. Giertych is being carried into the hospital at that time, and he is still unconscious.
In the hospital, something strange happens. Giertych is on the I.V., is out, and is being visited by the district attorney. The Polish Ombudsman Adam Bodner, who has been warned and sent an observer, describes what is happening at the hospital:
While the lawyer – who has been involved in several lawsuits against the nationalist-conservative PIS government in recent years – is still unconscious, the prosecution has already reported that he is suspected of money laundering. The prosecutor only reads a press release, questions are not answered. Among other things, Giertych gets an exit ban, his activities as a lawyer are suspended and he gets police oversight.
The Polish Ombudsman is convinced that the governing party wants to eliminate lawyer Giertych. “Some of the practices that have taken place are certainly a violation or violation of human rights. And the whole system is constructed in such a way that it provides some kind of immunity to the ruling party or others who are affiliated with the ruling party,” says Ombudsman Bodner.
Also on the turn
Lawyer Giertych may not practice his profession for the time being and is at home. Its not clear why he went unconscious, theres still a tox screen.
Polish lawyers are hoping for help from Europe. For anyone who criticizes the government fears the same treatment as Giertych. His colleague Dubois: “Of course Im afraid. I apply the same method as Giertych. I, too, address this government. Im afraid Im coming too.”
Newshour naturally asked the Polish authorities, the Secret Service and the Public Prosecutor for a response. Only the Secret Service wanted to respond in writing. Once the comment is received, you can view it on this site.
Earlier we made a report about a hate campaign that had to silence critical judges.