A bombshell email leaked on Monday suggests that the PM's Chief of Staff met with the head of Poland's Constitutional Tribunal to ensure that specific cases be adjourned so as to help the ruling camp win parliamentary elections.
Ten artykuł czytasz w ramach bezpłatnego limitu

Follow the big issues that shape Polish politics and society by signing up to our weekly newsletter "News from Poland: Democracy at Stake". It allows you to stay up to speed on developments concerning the ongoing assault on democratic institutions, rule of law, and human rights in Poland.

On January 7, 2019, at 10:39 p.m., the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff Michał Dworczyk sends PM Morawiecki an email that reads (original spelling):

"Today (shortly after your conversation), I visited Ms. Julia P. and discussed with her the following 3 issues:

1. v. 53 - adjourned for now (Kieres, 250 million - 1.5 billion) 

2. Care allowance adjourned (Muszyński) until February 19 (about 5 billion)  

3. Transmission easement adjourned for now (Muszyński) (several billion)

Number 2 is reportedly already being handled by Tomek Fill, so I will cooperate with him on that. Michał".

The short note is of great importance because it shows the total collapse of the rule of law in Poland. In essence, the leaked email confirms that the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Michał Dworczyk, met with the head of the Constitutional Tribunal, Julia Przyłębska, and agreed with her that the Court would not deal with matters that are of considerable significance to the public but impose heavy financial burdens on the state budget. It is even more striking considering that parliamentary elections were scheduled to take place in the fall of that year, and PiS needed the money to persuade voters, by promising them, for instance, higher pensions.

To date, the Constitutional Tribunal handed down its decision only in case No. 1, as it was handled by Leon Kieres- the last remaining judge appointed prior to PiS’ judicial overhaul. The other two cases are still waiting to be decided by the group led by Julia P., because the Law and Justice government would prefer not to spend billions of zlotys from the state budget given the pandemic-induced economic crisis, and the Russian aggression against Ukraine.

The leaked email proves the illegal actions of Julia P., as Mr. Dworczyk refers to the allegedly independent head of the Constitutional Tribunal, such as appointing a biased adjudicating panel to ensure a favorable verdict. But the email is also the first tangible evidence showing that the Tribunal is fully controlled by the ruling camp. The Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff himself admits it.

These are the standards found in Belarus or Russia, not in a law-abiding EU member state.

Interestingly, Dworczyk's email was sent nearly four months before "Wyborcza" published an article that described the close personal ties between Julia Przyłębska, the head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party Jarosław Kaczyński, and Prime Minister Morawiecki.

At this point, it should also be mentioned that, as Radio TOK FM has learned just yesterday, the Polish government will not execute the European Court of Human Rights ruling and pay reparations to the two judges who won against the Polish state. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained that the basis for this step, which is completely unprecedented, is the judgment handed down by the politically-controlled Constitutional Tribunal, which declared one of the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights incompatible with the Polish Constitution.

It is no surprise then that the provision challenged by the compromised Constitutional Tribunal concerned Article 6 of the Convention, which guarantees everyone the right to a fair trial by an independent and impartial court established in accordance with the law.

In doing so, the ruling camp is following the playbook of Putin’s regime, as it has done the same with the Strasbourg Court's rulings.

To read more about Mr. Dworczyk’s hack-and-leak scandal please see the following link.

***

Every day, 400 journalists at Gazeta Wyborcza write verified, fact-checked stories about Polish politics and society, keeping a critical eye on the ruling camp’s persistent assault on democratic values and the rule of law; the growing cultural tension between religious fundamentalism and human rights; and the ongoing Russian invasion in Ukraine. Our journalists are on the front lines in 32 Polish cities, reporting from the streets, hospitals, and courtrooms about issues that move public opinion.

We decided to make our service available to everyone free of charge in order to provide access to high quality journalism for expats and English speakers interested in Polish affairs.

The access to information should be equal for all.

Gazeta Wyborcza Foundation
DONATE
Czytaj ten tekst i setki innych dzięki prenumeracie
Wybierz prenumeratę, by czytać to, co Cię ciekawi 
Wyborcza.pl to zawsze sprawdzone informacje, szczere wywiady, zaskakujące reportaże i porady ekspertów w sprawach, którymi żyjemy na co dzień. Do tego magazyny o książkach, historii i teksty z mediów europejskich.
Więcej
    Komentarze
    Zaloguj się
    Chcesz dołączyć do dyskusji? Zostań naszym prenumeratorem