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Anti-corruption chief abused power, court rules

PR dla Zagranicy
John Beauchamp 30.03.2015 18:03
The former head of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA), Mariusz Kamiński, abused his position while in office and has been handed down a three-year jail sentence, a court has ruled.
PAP/Bartłomiej Zborowski

“The former head of the CBA, Mariusz Kamiński, has been found guilty of abuse of his powers while running the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau during the so-called ‘land scandal’ in 2007,” the district court in central Warsaw said.

The court also sentenced Kamiński to three years in prison. The penalty is higher than that requested by the prosecution. Kamiński has also been barred from holding any public office for ten years.

The defence has said that the judgment is invalid, and has already lodged an appeal.
At the time of reporting, Kamiński was still listed as the deputy head of the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party.

The party leader, former Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński, said that this was an “idiosyncratic” ruling.

Kaczyński was a key witness in the case, and appeared in court in January. These proceedings mirror the “excess political steps [which were taken] to protect the Polish elite from prosecution”.

The PiS leader added that “it is clear that Kamiński should be acquitted”.

The land scandal took place in 2007 at the height of a government coalition headed by PiS and which included the right-wing League of Polish Families and the agrarian populist Self Defence party.

The CBA undertook a sting operation which involved paying bribes for the zoning change of agricultural land into residential plots.

The operation found that some of the money went to then deputy prime minister Andrzej Lepper, head of the Self Defence, who was then dismissed from his post and caused the coalition to collapse, triggering early elections. (rg/jb)

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