Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Lobbyist Dochnal accuses Krakow TV chief of political favouritism

Director of the Krakow Branch of Polish Television Witold Gadowski denies accusations that he was former Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro’s secret emissary.

On Monday, lobbyist and businessman Marek Dochnal, who was arrested in 2004 on charges of bribing a former MP Andrzej Peczak (Democratic Left Alliance - SLD) and money-laundering, said on the TVN channel that Witold Gadowski had asked him to become a state witness and to co-operate with prosecution.

Witold Gadowski admitted in an interview with Radio Krakow that when he was a TVN reporter, he used to meet Dochnal’s wife. Director of Krakow TV said he was then investigating Marek Dochnal’s links with a Swiss banker Peter Vogel who had allegedly managed proceeds from illegal activities of prominent Polish left-wing politicians, mainly from SLD.

Gadowski did not deny Dochnal’s accusation that he had maintained close relations with former Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, but explained that he had always drawn a line between his journalistic profession and private life and that his contacts with Dochnal’s wife were strictly professional.

Marek Dochnal also said on TVN that a journalist from the ‘Wprost” weekly magazine, Dorota Kania had borrowed a few hundred thousand zlotys from his family and in return, she offered assistance in obtaining the favours of leading Law and Justice politicians. Dochnal added that when PiS lost the parliamentary election in 2007, the journalist repaid the loan.