Friday, May 16, 2008

Polish Justice Minister Defends Search of Homes of Vetting Commission Members

Justice Minister Zbigniew Cwiakalski said here Wednesday that the Tuesday [13 May] search of homes belonging to two members of the WSI (Military Information Services) vetting commission was part of an investigation against four people. The investigation had been commissioned by the prosecutor's office. ABW [Internal Security Agency] officers followed orders, Cwiakalski added.

Piotr Baczek and another one of the four people whose homes were searched Tuesday by ABW internal security agency were members of the WSI vetting commission, set up at the initiative of former deputy defence minister Antoni Macierewicz.

PiS [opposition Law and Justice] MPs aboard the Sejm special commission for political pressure, Jacek Kurski and Arkadiusz Mularczyk, said they feared their homes may also be searched as Baczek was Kurski's aide.

According to [ruling] Civic Platform PO such allegations are groundless.

The head of the Sejm committee for special services, Janusz Zemke (Left), said there were no irregularities in ABW Tuesday's search.

Prosecutor Robert Majewski of the Warsaw bureau for organized crime said Wednesday his office motioned for arresting Wojciech S. and Aleksander L. suspected of taking bribes while screening WSI officers.

Law and Justice (PiS) leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said the treatment of journalists during the search of Baczek's home was an "utter scandal".

The Polish Journalists' Association appealed to the Ombudsman for demanding explanation to "scandalous" behaviour of ABW officers vis- a-vis journalists. Polish TV reporters filming the search of Baczek's home were deprived of their cameras on grounds of shooting illegal footage.