Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Poland's Political Eavesdropping Scandal Shuts Down Polish Parliament

The testimony by Poland's Former Minister of Interior about Polish Government use of special services organizations to spy on political opponents has stopped proceedings of the Polish Parliament. And the stoppage may end up being long term. Parliamentary Speaker Ludwig Dorn said if the opposition continues to demand breaks the current session could "go on for months".

Yesterday, during the reading of the secret testimony of Former Minister of Interior Janusz Kaczmarek, Former Minister of Education Roman Giertych exploded when he learned that conversations between him and Former Deputy Prime Minister Andrzej Lepper were recorded and transcripts of their conversations given to Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

Making accusations of a "Polish Watergate", Giertych demanded a delay in Parliamentary proceedings until next Tuesday. Giertych wants to hear what the Former heads of the National Police and the Anti-Corruption Bureau have to say when they testify before the Parliament Special Service Committee. (For Previous claims of a Polish Watergate, see Polish Watergate? The time has come for transparency in Poland!

The delay stops all work of the Parliament.

And the delay stops the process to the necessary vote to dissolve the Polish Parliament and hold early elections. Though the Prime Minister wants the elections held on the 21st of October, such parliamentary maneuvering is creating delays that make that date not likely....

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

First found guilty in syringe scandal

A chief of the Public Prosecutions Office in Radom and his deputy have lost their posts as a consequence of the case of dirty syringes which broke out in a Radom hospital in December 2006, according to Dziennik.
The Ministry of Justice has dismissed them due to their negligence in conducting the legal action after a notification by the hospital.
Investigating officers would also like to bring about consequences for the behaviour of the Radom hospital management, the syringe distributor and importer. In the officers’ opinion, they may all be accused of negligence, because they did not notify the Registration Office (URPL) about the contamination of syringes in time, despite being aware of this fact. First action was taken only after reports in the newspaper at the end of July 2007, while the contamination was noticed in the Radom hospital in December 2006.
It is estimated that hospitals were supplied with more than 153,000 dirty syringes, a majority of which have been used.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Polish Trustees trigger scandal with controversial poster of German MP

The Polish Trustees on Thursday denied libelling a conservative German member of parliament by showing her posing with a Nazi officer and what appears to be a Teutonic Knight in a poster, Poland's PAP news agency reported.

The Polish Trustees is a group opposed to compensating ethnic Germans who fled or were expelled from Polish territory after the Second World War.

It was created to counter the activities of German organisations called the Union of Expellees and the Prussian Trustees.

The Polish Trustees poster depicts conservative German legislator Erika Steinbach, head the Union of Expellees, standing along side a Second World War Nazi officer and what appears to be a Teutonic Knight.

A quote attributed to Nazi German Dictator Adolf Hitler is also emblazoned on the poster.

The controversial Polish Trustees published the poster to protest celebrations planned this month by German expellees commemorating their homelands prior to the Second World War on what is now Polish territory.

The German Union of Expellees on Thursday threatened to sue the Polish organisation for libel in connection with the poster.

Polish Trustee head, Law and Justice (PiS) Senator Dorota Arciszewska, said the group had not broken any laws in publishing the poster, but was simply exercising its right to freedom of expression.

Erika Steinbach sparked outrage in Poland by opening an exhibition in Berlin focused on the fate of ethnic Germans expelled from Eastern Europe after Nazi Germany's Second World War defeat.

The vast majority of Poles slammed the move as an attempt revise history by casting Germans as victims of the Second World War.

There is also much concern in Poland's north-east that former German owners may reclaim the properties they abandoned after 1945.