Thursday, October 04, 2007

Polish prospective senator arrested after ‘sting’ operation

Poland’s Central Anti-corruption Bureau (CBA) have arrested Beata Sawicka of the opposition Civic Platform (PO) along with the mayor of the seaside town of Hel on corruption charges.

Sawicka was released after 5 hours questioning.

As Tomasz Fratczak of CBA informed, Sawicka and Mayor Miroslaw Wadolowski were caught red handed while taking a bribe in a ‘sting’ operation prepared by the CBA. The MP was arrested, Tuesday, in a hotel in Gdansk, and the mayor in a restaurant in Gdynia, northern Poland.

As a reaction to the arrest PO sacked Sawicka from the party and forced her to withdraw her candidacy for Senator in the coming elections.

She was to run as PO candidate in Legnica, western Poland.

Civic Platform’s Secretary General Grezgorz Schetyna explained that this decision is not prejudging Sawicka’s guilt. He said he hopes that the case will be unraveled by the relevant authorities.

PO’s Leader Donald Tusk, in turn, said that Sawicka was excluded because she failed to resolve doubts connected with her involvement in the crime.

Poland’s Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski denied that the arrest had anything to do with the ongoing election campaign in Poland. Kaczynski pointed out that the whole case proves that corruption is a problem relating to all political parties.

According to the CBA, the arrested took a bribe of 250,000 zlotys for setting up a tender for a 2 hectare property in Hel. It was to be used for a construction of a large hotel and leisure complex.

Sawicka was elected in the 2005 election as an MP for Civic Platform in the Legnica district.