Brunon Kwiecien (C) at the Krakow district court on Monday. Photo: PAP/Jacek Bednarczyk
The trial began forty minutes later than scheduled at the Krakow district court in southern Poland after what appears to be a hoax made by an anonymous caller.
Dr Brunon Kwiecien, who has waived usual rights to privacy given in Poland to those standing trial, has heard nine charges, including that he planned a terrorist attack on constitutional authorities and the illegal possession of arms and explosives.
According to the prosecution, the former employee of the Krakow Agricultural University planned to ram a vehicle packed with explosives into Poland's lower house of parliament at a date when both President Bronislaw Komorowski and Prime Minister Tusk were scheduled to be present.
Kwiecien's lawyer Maciej Burda has told Polish Radio that his client claims he was manipulated into planning the attack by one of the witnesses due to give evidence at the trial.
“We want to expose the entire mechanism of provocation that my client was subjected to,” Burda said.
Kwiecien had been under surveillance by the Internal Security Agency (ABW) before he was arrested on 9 November 2012 and is accused of trying to inspire students to take part in the attack, with plans being laid as early as 2009.
In February 2013, Brunon Kwiecien admitted that he had planned the attack, claiming in a statement released through his lawyer that he had wanted to punish “arrogant” politicians.
Earlier, public prosecutors had claimed that Dr Kwiecien was a far-right extremist and anti-semite who felt that “the situation in the country was going in the wrong direction because all leading government positions were occupied by 'foreigners'.”
However, Maciej Burdas claims that his client was not motivated by any political ideology.
Psychologists concluded that the Krakow academic was sane when he made plans for the attack.
Kwiecien could serve up to 15 years behind bars if found guilty of the charges against him.
Two other suspects are on trial alongside the Krakow academic.
In a macabre twist to the case, the remains of Brunon Kwiecien's mother-in-law were identified in February 2013, after being found in a shallow roadside grave near Krakow. (nh/pg)