Polish ex-minister sentenced to two years in prison for abuse of office


Former Polish Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski has been sentenced to two years in prison for abuse of office. He was initially pardoned, but this sentence has now been overturned. The new government also caused headlines to roll in the public media: the entire leadership was fired.

Kaminski had already been sentenced to three years in prison in March 2015 for, among other things, abuse of office. The reason for the conviction was an affair that came to light in 2007, in which Kaminski authorities allegedly deliberately orchestrated a corruption case to discredit the then Minister of Agriculture, Andrzej Lepper. Kaminski appealed.

Former deputy head of the CBA, Maciej Wasik, was also sentenced to two years in prison. Both PiS politicians are banned from holding public office for five years and will lose their parliamentary mandate.

In the fall of 2015, immediately after the national-conservative PiS party took over the government, President Andrzej Duda, who came from the ranks of the PiS, made a controversial decision to pardon Kaminski even though his appeal was still pending . The proceedings were halted and Kaminski was appointed Minister of the Interior shortly afterwards. He held this position until the PiS government lost its majority in last October’s parliamentary elections.

The Supreme Court had already overturned Kaminski’s pardon last June. This meant he had to face the trial again.

Leadership in the public media is exchanged
The public media management team lost their jobs: the CEOs and supervisory boards of the television station TVP, Polish Radio and the PAP news agency are affected, as the Ministry of Culture announced. The news channel TVP Info was switched off shortly afterwards and in the morning only Christmas motifs were shown on a continuous loop.

New supervisory boards have already been appointed and they will elect new board members, it was said. The restructuring and reorientation of public broadcasting is one of the priorities of Donald Tusk’s government. She accuses the media of spreading party propaganda under the national-conservative PiS government over the past eight years.

The media is believed to be close to the party
Parliament adopted the resolution on Tuesday evening to restore “the legality and impartiality” of the public media. It said these media had lost their legal mandate to provide reliable and impartial information and had become biased media. The Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of State Investment, which are involved in the institutions through ownership committees, must now take corrective measures.

NGOs: “propaganda arm of the ruling PiS”
International organizations had also criticized the public media’s one-sided coverage of the election campaign. These have “completely transformed themselves into a propaganda arm of the ruling PiS” and participate in the denigration of their critics, according to a report by the European Center for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), which is mainly funded by the European Commission. .

Source: Krone


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