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TV station fined after Polish flag-in-dog-mess stunt

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 03.07.2013 09:20
Poland's Supreme Court upheld an appeal court verdict on Tuesday against a TV station that broadcast a miniature Polish flag being placed in a dog's excrement.

Photo: Glowimages

Judge Maciej Pacuda insisted that freedom of expression is not an absolute right, and is subject to limitations, in this case in connection with laws protecting the national flag and anthem.

The TVN commercial station must now go ahead with paying a fine of 471,000 zloty (108,500 euro) to the National Broadcasting Council (KRRiT), in line with the original penalty set by the council five years ago.

The initial incident occurred in March 2008, during the chat show of TV and radio personality Kuba Wojewodzki.

According to TVN, Wojewodzki placed a miniature flag in a dog's excrement as “a happening designed to raise awareness of the pollution of Polish streets.

However, KRRiiT fined the station in accordance with Polish law, which states that “programs cannot promote illegal activity, Poland's raison d'etat, and attitudes and beliefs that are contrary to morality and the social good,” alluding to the desecration of the Polish flag.

A district court overturned KRRiT's decision in August 2009, but an appeal court then reversed the former in August 2011.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that the original penalty issued by KRRiT was proportionate to the offence.

Kuba Wojewodzki's activities have been taken up KRRiT before. The commercial Radio Eska station was fined 50,000 zloty ( 11,500 euro) in October 2011, after an edition of Wojewodzki's show that the presenters introduced as being sponsored by the Ku Klux Klan.

During the show, a half-Indian employee of Poland's Main Road Transport Inspectorate was referred to as “the black man.”

In 2012, Wojewodzki said on a radio show on Eska Rock that if his Ukrainian cleaner had been “a bit prettier he would have raped her anyway” during the Euro 2012 football championships co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine.

The 'comendian' and presenter was suspended from the show after complaints.

Wojewodzki as always insisted that his shows are satirical. (nh/pg)

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