Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Two former ministers arrested at Presidential Palace

The constitutional crisis deepened after the police entered the presidential residence, while he was away, to arrest the president's guests. The arrested were two former ministers and two of their former subordinates who received presidential pardons in 2015. 

The police intrusion into the Presidential Palace has no similar example in the history of the Second and Third Polish Republic.

Niezalezna(.)pl: President Andrzej Duda made a special statement regarding the arrest of Mr. Kamiński and Mr. Wąsik:

"I believed and still believe that those who fight corruption should be under special care and attention from the state. They perform extremely difficult tasks, especially when it concerns corruption at the highest levels of the state - either state or local government. Such activities were carried out by the CBA (Central Anticorruption Bureau), led by Minister Mariusz Kamiński at that time. They were convicted for precisely such actions related to the fight against corruption at the highest levels of power. I then decided to pardon them - before they took office in the government that was formed in 2015 after the parliamentary elections."

"It was a case that had been going on for several years - de facto since 2009, when a report of a crime was filed. Minister Mariusz Kamiński and his associates, just before the 2015 elections, were convicted of exceeding their powers - allegedly. During these proceedings, on the basis of the same evidence, one of the participants in the so-called land scandal was previously convicted of corruption. The case was very controversial from the very beginning, and most public opinion had no doubt that it was a political matter. For me, it was and is very important because the fight against corruption is one of the basic elements of building a modern state. A modern state is a state that fights corruption and fights it effectively. So corruption is a marginal phenomenon. It is an absolutely fundamental issue," – he emphasized.

President Duda added that "all these years, the most important issue for me was for the Polish state to be a just state, for it to be an honest state, for us to be able to proudly say all the time - yes, we are a country where corruption was defeated after famous scandals."

"After the times when it was said that nothing could be done without an envelope. Thanks to the consistent, tough actions of the CBA, corruption in many areas of our lives has either been eliminated or turned out to be a marginal phenomenon. It was indeed, without a doubt - and is - a great success of the Polish state, which was represented in this respect by Mariusz Kamiński and his associates."