Friday, July 25, 2008

Sport minister to be released on bail

The District Court in Warsaw decided on Thursday to grant Tomasz Lipiec, former sport minister charged with corruption, bail of 80,000 zloty.

The Regional Court for Central Warsaw has allowed an appeal of the defence counsel on the decision of the lower court, which decided to extend Lipiec's arrest till 17 September, on the grounds that there is a high probability that he had committed the crimes he is charged of, might obstruct proceedings and faces a heavy penalty of up to ten years' imprisonment).

Lipiec was to go on trial on 29 July, but on 14 July the Regional Court appealed to remit the case to the District Court, due to its importance and complexity.

Lipiec, was sport minister under the previous Law and Justice (PiS) government, during the conflict between the government and the Polish Football Association after the then PM Jaroslaw Kaczynski suspended the executive committee, believing that they were doing too little to stamp out the spreading corruption among soccer coaches, players and officials.

Charges against him include overstepping his powers, corruption and fraud. He pleads not guilty.