Polish Former Interior Minister Awarded Two Years Imprisonment

Thu Dec 21 2023
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WARSAW: Former Interior Minister of Poland Mariusz Kaminski and his deputy from the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party has been awarded two years imprisonment for abuse of power in previous posts, Western media reported on Wednesday.

Soon after the PiS came to power in 2015, President Andrzej Duda pardoned Kaminski who had been found guilty of abuse of power while serving as head of the anti-corruption agency. The pardon allowed him to become a member of the Polish cabinet.

Legal experts have always questioned whether Duda could pardoned Kaminski before a court issued a final verdict in his case, while opposition politicians termed the decision political.

The Constitutional Tribunal, ruled in June that the president pardoned Kaminski using his constitutional rights.  Later Poland’s Supreme Court reopened the case of the abuse of power.

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On Wednesday, a Warsaw appeals court awarded Kaminski and Maciej Wasik, his former deputy at the interior ministry, two years imprisonment and two other officials of the anticorruption office to one year.

Under the verdict Kaminski and Wasik will be removed from their positions as members of parliament. PiS has already lost power to an alliance of pro-European parties after October 15 polls.

Both men have questioned the appeals court’s decision, contending the pardon precluded the sentences.

Kaminski at a press conference said that they do not acknowledge the verdict. He said he is not a convict anymore as he was pardoned by the President.

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