‘Waitergate’ mastermind sentenced to 2.5 years
PR dla Zagranicy
The alleged mastermind of the so-called “Waitergate” 2014 wiretapping scandal was sentenced to 30 months in jail by a Warsaw court on Thursday.
Marek Falenta. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell.
Polish businessman Marek Falenta was found guilty of organising the illegal recording of conversations between high ranking political and business figures in two Warsaw restaurants which emerged in a series of media articles in 2014.
Another Polish businessman, Krzysztof Rybka, and waiter Konrad Lassota have received suspended sentences.
A second waiter involved in the tapping, who helped the prosecution, will avoid jail time but has been ordered to pay PLN 50,000 (EUR 11,000) to charity.
Between July 2013 and June 2014, the conversations of people in the upper echelons of Polish politics, business and public service were recorded without their knowledge.
Such recordings are illegal in Poland and under the penal code are punishable by up to two years in jail.
Among those recorded were former Interior Minister Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, former Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski and former central bank head Marek Belka.
The conversations, many of them expletive-ridden, of more than 100 people were illegally recorded on 66 occasions; their revelation rocked Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform (PO) government in 2014, leading to the resignation of at least nine high-ranking party members. (vb/rg)