Wednesday, December 31, 2008

UK – drink driving warning issued, in Polish

Scottish police have issued a warning about alcohol and the road after 10 percent of those stopped for driving over the limit were found to be Polish.

Four out of 43 people discovered driving over the limit came from Poland during a four week Safety on the Roads Campaign launched to cut down the number of deaths on the road in the period leading up to the Christmas break.

During the long weekend break in Poland last May police detained a staggering 1835 drunk drivers.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Poles lose Erika Steinbach defamation case

The Court of Appeal in Cologne, Germany, has ruled that Poles distributing leaflets depicting Erika Steinbach with a figure from the Nazi SS libeled the head of the German Federation of Expellees.

The Court of Appeal has agreed with a lower court which previously forbade members of Polish Trusteeship (Powiernictwo Polskie) to distribute the leaflet. It also ordered them to pay Erika Steinbach 50,000 euro in damages, as well as to cover the costs of trial.

The offending leaflet, which shows the German Federation of Expellees head Erika Steinbach - who represents the interests of Germans who were either expelled after World War II or fled their homes in Central and Eastern Europe – with an SS man and a medieval knight who appear on the leaflet is accompanied by a a phrase of a speech by Adolf Hitler.

Erika Steinach, offended when she learnt about the leaflet, sued the Polish Trusteeship for deformation of character. The trustee members in turn, claim that they had a right to demonstrate against the dangerous activity of the Federation of Expellees.

"I didn’t expect any other verdict," said Senator Dorota Arcieszewska – Mieleczyk of the Polish Trusteeship, adding that it will not hinder her association's battle with Steinbach.

Erika Steinbach's Federation of Expellees came in for strong criticism in Poland, after the newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported in 2003 that at a meeting of her federation, materials glorifying the 1939 invasion of Poland were available for sale.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Poland’s former communist leaders face pensions cut

Poland took a step towards slashing pensions for the country’s communist-era leaders after deputies in the lower parliamentary approved the measure in a vote yesterday. The bill, if it becomes law, would affect former president General Wojciech Jaruzelsk, currently on trial for the 1981 crackdown against the anti-communist Solidarity trades union movement, and many communist-era officials.

Since the senate, like the lower house, is dominated by liberal deputies, the bill is almost certain to be approved there before receiving the approval of Poland’s conservative President Lech Kaczynski. The bill covers all members of the communist party’s 1981 Military Council for Salvation of the Nation (WRON), set up by General Jaruzelski in December that year as part of a martial law crackdown on Solidarity. It also reduces pension benefits for agents of the communist regime’s infamous secret police who worked between 1944-1990. The bill addressed “an elementary feeling of justice” Liberal Prime Minister Donald Tusk said after the vote.

“We’re returning normality to this domain,” he argued. “No one will have a higher pension (than others) due to the fact they worked for the communist secret police, but at the same time no one will be deprived of the means to survive,” he said.

The changes would revise downwards the generous indexation of pension benefits for former communist regime leaders and agents. It passed with 366 votes for, 50 against and 22 abstentions.

Poland’s communist-era generals and secret policemen would see their monthly pensions, which are now worth 8,000 zlotys (¤2,422, $2,750) fall to 2,500 zlotys (¤757, $860 dollars), according to Polish media reports. That would still leave them substantially higher than the average Polish monthly pension of 1,300 zlotys (¤300, $416). General Jaruzelski, 85, is already dealing with another challenge to his conduct during his time in power.

He and several other former senior communist party figures are on trial on charges of “communist crimes” for their imposition of martial law in Poland in 1981 in the move against Solidarity.

Jaruzelski, who has denied the charges, has long argued martial law was justified as “the lesser evil” preventing a civil war or an outright Soviet invasion in reaction to Solidarity’s growing strength.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Author convicted of murder after including details in thriller

A best-selling Polish author has been jailed for 25 years for murdering a man he suspected of having an affair with his wife and then describing it in chilling detail in a thriller.

Polish crime-novelist and philosopher Krystian Bala, 33, was convicted at retrial in Wroclaw, south west Poland.

The court ruled he was guilty of organising the murder of Dariusz Janiszewski because he suspected he had become his wife's lover.

Eight years ago, fishermen found the corpse of Janiszewski, who owned a small advertising agency, on the banks of the River Oder, near the Polish city of Wroclaw.

In December 2000, the young advertising executive was fished out of the river Oder, bearing signs of torture. He had been thrown into the river alive, trussed up with a noose round his neck.

For years the murder had police in Wroclaw flummoxed. They had no suspect and no motive.

But five years later, police received an anonymous call in which they were told to take a look at the book Amok, published in 2003, three years after the killing. Officers were shocked to find the book contained intimate details of the murder that could be known only to police – or the killer.

The plot centred on a group of intellectuals experimenting with sex and drugs and contained an account of a murder, remarkably similar to that of Mr Janiszewski

Further investigations revealed that the victim was an acquaintance of Mr Bala's estranged wife.

Police then discovered Bala had phoned Janiszewski the very day he disappeared. They discovered that, four days after the murder, Bala had also sold the young advertising executive's mobile phone on an internet auction.

Mr Bala told police he had collated details of the killing from press reports and imagined the missing parts.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Post #800: The continuing story of corruption in the Polish FA

A member of PZPN, the Polish FA, has had seven counts of corruption brought against him.

Henryk Klocek is pleading not guilty to five cases of accepting bribes, and two cases of their actual transactions.

In a court hearing that lasted seven hours, the prosecution brought the cases forward following reports of match fixing in the 2003-2004 season, with an estimated 50,000 zloty (15,000 euro) being transferred for rigging matches in both the first and second divisions.

Mr. Klocek is on bail for 70,000 zloty, and the prosecution has failed to state whether he the allegedly corrupt PZPN official had previous contacts with 'The Hairdresser', head of the football mafia in Poland.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Another arrest in Poland’s football corruption scandal

Member of the Board of the Polish Football Association (PZPN) Henryk K., dubbed the “Prince of the North”, was arrested in Gdansk, northern Poland, Thursday.

Mafia involvement
He is suspected of taking bribes and fixing matches in the Polish football league. Henryk K. is to hear charges, Friday. He was incriminated by the testimony of Ryszard F., aka “Fryzjer” [Barber], part of what police believe to be mafia involvement in widespread corruption thorough out many levels of the game. The former head of the Polish football mafia has admitted that he gave an envelope full of money to Henryk K. for fixing the result of a game. “I am surprised. Only yesterday we had a Christmas meeting in the Association, and today I’ve learned that a member of the Board was arrested,” said the new head of PZPN Grzegorz Lato after the arrest. “Let the prosecutors do their job, we will do ours,” he added.

Corruption trial
The investigation on corruption in Polish football has been underway since May 2005. So far the public prosecutor’s office has leveled charges against some 170 people: sports activists, referees, PZPN observers and two members of the Board of the Association: Wit Z. and Kazimierz F. The first corruption trail started in a court in Wroclaw, western Poland last December. In the dock were 17 people, among others Ryszard F., who is an alleged organiser of match fixing.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Court hears Polish man who set fire to wife

A Polish man set fire to his wife during a row over his online gambling, it was claimed in the High Court on Wednesday.

Prosecutors alleged that Olgierd Wasilewski, 28, poured lighter fluid over her and set her alight with a cigarette lighter at their home in Lisburn, Co Antrim.

Crown counsel Christine Smith told the court the woman suffered superficial burns and had to have hair cut off following the alleged attack.

But a defence lawyer disputed the case against Wasilewski, claiming the accused`s wife had a history of self-harm.

Wasilewski, a computer programmer from Lagan Walk, Lisburn, faces charges of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent and criminal damage over the incident on October 25.

He was granted bail after a judge was told he could stay with another Polish national in the Dromore area.

Mr Justice Treacy banned Wasilewski from going into Lisburn apart from to work, and ordered him to have no contact with his wife.

The court heard police found the accused and his wife in the kitchen of their home after being phoned for help by a man.

Mrs Smith said: "The injured party confirmed she had an argument with the defendant over his online gambling and had hidden the router to prevent him accessing the internet."

The barrister claimed Wasilewski poured lighter fluid over her when she refused to tell him where the computer equipment was.

But Conn O`Neill, counsel for the accused, said his client enjoyed a presumption of innocence and had set out his defence during police interview.

After hearing both sides Mr Justice Treacy made clear that it was not for him to decide on claims that the woman set fire to herself.

Referring to the charge against Wasilewski, he also noted: "It`s a pretty outrageous state of affairs if it turns out to be true."

However, the judge ruled that the accused be released on stringent conditions, which included cash sureties being lodged with the court.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

London Poles decry 'insulting' TV portrayal of their lives

The Federation of Poles in Great Britain has written a letter to Polish Television to express its strong disapproval of the broadcaster's show Londonczycy (Londoners), which is shown nationwide every Thursday night.

Shot entirely in London and with an Anglo-Polish cast, it has become a hit with viewers, but Poles in Britain feel that the series portrays expatriate Poles in a bad light spicing storylines with drunkenness, sex and crime.

"Many Poles contribute a lot to London and that is why they feel very let down and insulted by the programme so far," Wiktor Moszczynski, the federation's spokesman, said. "The term Londoner used to be something to be proud of but now it has become a bit of a byword for sleaze, and the butt of jokes in Poland. It makes us a laughing stock."

Monika Tkaczyk, who is one of the hundreds of thousands of Poles who moved to the UK following Polish accession to the EU in 2004, described the show as a "bad portrayal of Poles", adding that it could have negative consequences for Poland.

The news that a British broadcaster has expressed an interest in buying the series has also alarmed UK-based Poles.

"If it is shown in Britain then it could make ammunition for people that have denigrated us in the past such as anti-immigration groups," said Mr Moszczynski."

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Old bomb found in Polish city

Police say 2,000 people have been evacuated after a huge, unexploded Second World War bomb was found in the center of the southwest Polish city of Wroclaw.

Wroclaw police spokesman Krzysztof Zaporowski says downtown residents, kindergarten students and town hall employees have been evacuated to allow explosive experts to dig out the one-ton bomb and take it to a testing range to be detonated.

Zaporowski says workers found the bomb yesterday during road work.

Unexploded bombs from the Second World War are still found frequently in Poland more than 60 years after the conflict ended.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Polish opposition leader calls for resignation of Internal Security Agency head

Poland’s opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski stated that Krzysztof Bondaryk should resign as head of the Internal Security Agency (ABW), The Warsaw Voice reports.

The paper refers to daily Gazeta Wyborcza report that the head of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) Mariusz Kaminski wrote a memo to Prime Minister Donald Tusk in which he stated that “Bondaryk receives from the company Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa [the Era mobile network] compensation which greatly exceeds his monthly remuneration from the ABW.” According to media reports, the CBA has accused Bondaryk of concealing the size of his severance package when he left his management post at Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa. This sum is reportedly PLN 1.5 mln. Bondaryk says he never concealed any income and filed an asset statement truthfully before taking the position as head of the ABW. Prime Minister Tusk came to Bondaryk’s defense, saying that he very accurately listed his assets and income (as required by law) before his appointment as head of the ABW in January.]

Meanwhile, Wladyslaw Stasiak, the head of the National Security Bureau (BBN), says that former agents of Poland’s hated communist secret services, the SB, are returning to work at the ABW. He added that this is not a staffing issue, per se, but rather the fact that people tied to the communist secret services are gaining increasing influence on the country’s most important agency. According to Stasiak, this stems from a lack of trust in the newer agents. Stasiak says that his comments are “moment of reflection about the country” and not an accusation related to recent reports about the ABW. The Warsaw Voice marks that Stasiak served as Minister of Internal Affairs and Administration between August-November 2007 under then-Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski. In November 2007, he became head of the BBN.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Forensics Institute under fire for ill treating human bodies

A special commission will investigate the conditions in which bodies are kept at the Forensics Institute in Warsaw.

A scandal erupted after a man who had come for the body of his son, killed in a traffic accident, said that he saw there bodies heaped on one another, and dumped in containers, "like dogs".

The management of the Institute have denied the allegations. Yesterday, however, the rector of the Medical University formed a special commission in response to the scandal.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Red cards? Poland and Ukraine struggle as soccer hosts

It seemed like the perfect plan, if a slightly risky one. Give Poland and Ukraine, two of Europe's largest emerging economies, the chance to hold the Continent's premier soccer tournament, build on the Continent's fan base and help secure the sport's future in Eastern Europe.

After nearly two years plagued with disorganization, corruption and now a global financial crisis, the former Soviet-bloc countries' future as co-hosts of the Euro 2012 tournament is looking far from secure. What ideally would be a pretty straightforward process - getting national teams together to play soccer in front of fans and television cameras - has turned into a multinational melodrama that could have sprung from the pages of Gogol.

Ukraine has played the part of the down-on-his-luck guy, Poland the corrupt official and Germany the ready opportunist, prepared to sweep in and take over part of the tournament if Ukraine stumbles. After a series of harshly critical reports and comments by officials, there has been a flurry of activity as the two countries try to prove that they have their acts together so that the European soccer federation, UEFA, does not pull the plug.

Both countries have begun work on the marquee stadiums in their capitals, Kiev and Warsaw. To satisfy UEFA concerns about crowd control, the Ukrainians went as far as destroying a brand new shopping center built nearly on top of the stadium in Kiev.

So far, their efforts seem to have somewhat allayed the fears of soccer officials here. "We have full confidence in Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine," Michel Platini, the UEFA president, said in Nyon, Switzerland, on Wednesday after meeting with officials from the two countries.

That was a significant improvement over the UEFA announcement in September, which stated that Poland and Ukraine had "erred because of a lack of experience and rigor, and that the development of the necessary infrastructure needed for the good running of the final tournament was practically at a standstill."

So it was with understandable relief that a delegation from Ukraine's Euro 2012 organizing committee arrived at the plush diplomatic reception hall of Kiev's Boryspil airport on Wednesday, jovial - and a bit tipsy - after the meeting in Nyon, which many said was the most positive and cooperative they have had.

"Ukraine and Poland have demonstrated major progress in their preparations," said Hryhoriy Surkis, president of Ukraine's football federation. "We have really gotten into a rhythm."

It sounds like a familiar story, as with the Athens Olympics in Greece. The host is unprepared and a major sporting event begins to look like a looming disaster, then the imminent deadlines pull everyone together and the event goes off without a hitch.

But there is one major difference. The economic forces at play are beyond the control of the two governments.

The troubles faced by Poland and Ukraine serve as a lesson that sports do not take place on a rarified plane, but are subject to the same economic forces that plague homeowners under foreclosure and investment bankers looking for jobs.

Sponsoring the event requires a lot more than building just two stadiums - it means constructing and expanding roads, railroads and airports, not to mention making sure there are enough hotel rooms.

There is precedent for a country losing a big sporting event: Colombia was to host the World Cup in 1986 but had to yield to Mexico because of financial difficulties connected with a worldwide recession in 1982 and a drop in prices for coffee, the country's major export.

While Poland is, at least for now, on much more stable footing economically than Ukraine, it had its own difficulties this autumn after dozens of coaches, referees and officials were arrested in a graft investigation. A former national team manager, Janusz Wojcik, was charged with 11 counts of corruption.

The Polish government suspended the national soccer association's management board, running afoul of FIFA rules that stipulate that national soccer associations must remain free of government interference.

The controversy almost cost the country its right to host the tournament - and nearly forced the cancellation of qualifying matches for the 2010 World Cup - before a compromise for electing a new board was reached in October.

Miroslaw Drzewiecki, Poland's minister of sport and tourism, said in an interview that everything was back on track, both with the soccer association and the preparations for the championship. The Polish master plan and timetable are in place, he said, and funding is safe and stable, even in light of the financial crisis.

"In many cases, we have made up for lost time when we were behind schedule, and in other cases we are actually ahead of schedule," Drzewiecki said.

At the site of the National Stadium along the Vistula River in Warsaw's Praga district, still just a muddy hole where the old stadium once stood, the rhythmic thudding of pile drivers pounds like a heartbeat.

While the stadiums in the two capitals are clearly required, UEFA has said that between six and eight venues are needed, and not necessarily the same number in each country. Polish officials sounded confident that they could end up hosting a majority of the matches.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Crimes committed by Poles on the rise in Czech border area

The number of crimes committed by Polish citizens has increased in the Liberec vicinity since the Schengen entry last December, Liberec police spokeswoman Vlasta Suchankova told CTK Friday.

A total of 53 such crimes were reported during the first ten months of 2008, compared to 39 in the whole 2009.

The crime rate in the surroundings of the Polish town of Zgorzelec bordering on the Liberec region, has decreased, while in the German border region of Upper Lusatia-Lower Silesia more crimes, especially, car robberies have been reported since the Schengen enlargement, said Zgorzelec police chief Marek Kazimierczak and Police President of Upper Lusatia-Lower Silesia Richard Linss.

Polish perpetrators committed four robberies in the Liberec locality and in one case the robbers on escape threatened Czech policemen, injuring one of them.

"The number of fatal traffic accidents at the Frydlantsko (Czech-Polish) border crossing has increased since the enlargement of the Schengen area," Suchankova said, adding that three Polish citizens died in the accidents this autumn.

Major critic of the crime rise in the Czech-Polish border areas is Frantisek Kryspin, mayor of Habartice, north Bohemia that borders on the Polish town of Zawidow.

The Polish police from Zgorzelec conducted a poll on 270 Polish inhabitants and most of them said they feel as safe as before the opening of borders with Germany and the Czech Republic.

"Twenty-three said they fell victim to crime in the Czech Republic," Kazimierczak said.

The Czech, Polish and German police have intensified cooperation since the border checks were lifted within the Schengen area.

Czech and German policemen, for instance, jointly completed the investigation into a series of burglaries into family houses in Zittau, Germany, in 2006-2008.

The Czech border with the Upper Lusatia-Lower Silesia German region is 79 km long, while the border with the Polish Zgorzelec region is 119 kilometre long.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

US Senator apologizes for telling 'Polish jokes'

US Senator, Rep. Arlen Specter has made an official apology for telling Polish jokes at his party’s New York gathering last week.

Specter sent a relevant letter to all major Polish organizations in the United States explaining his behavior. On Tuesday, the Senator had a phone conversation with the President of the Polish-American Congress Frank Spula who accepted the apologies but suggested a written form would be advisable. Senator Specter responded quickly, underscoring his good relations with the Polish community strengthened by several visits to Poland. He underscored his high esteem for Polish participation in the international anti-terrorist coalition and the military effort in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The senator went on to say that in fact, he really hadn't a clue as to how many Poles it tool to screw in a light bulb.

"I am not an expert on this question so obviously I was out of line in my assumption as to what the real number of Poles the job actually takes. When I first heard the story, it did seem like a rather humorous situation because really, you just stand on a chair, reach up and replace the bulb. I really can't say why it takes more than one Polish guy to do this job. Maybe it has something to do with the quality of the bulb or maybe even the ladders. Or maybe it's the unions. You know that could be a real thing right there. In any case, I understand that they are upset and you know, hey, what can I say? I should have been more sensitive to their feelings about this light bulb issue. Who knew?"

The Senator expressed regret over his remarks considering them as a highly unfortunate mistake.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Former Polish football boss takes stand in corruption case

Former head of the Polish football federation (PZPN) Michal Listkiewicz took the stand on Tuesday as a witness in an ongoing investigation into corruption in the sport.

Listkiewicz said he'd answered 'honestly' after about an hour on the stand in a Wroclaw court. He did not give details about the proceedings.

'I answered all the questions honestly and frankly, because I'm truthful,' Listkiewicz said.

The Polish football federation voted in Grzegorz Lato in October as its new head, as Listkiewicz stepped down amid the investigation.

Listkiewicz said he didn't know about corruption while he headed PZPN, and had no contact with Ryszard F., or 'The Hairdresser,' the alleged leader of the corruption ring.

Lato has called on officials to work and make Polish football 'clear' of corruption, 'so that we could together make Euro 2012 our shared success.' Poland is to host the 2012 event together with Ukraine.

Football governing bodies FIFA and UEFA had threatened Poland with sanctions unless the government allowed the federation to elect a new leader.

The investigation into corruption in Polish football was launched in May 2005, and so far has charged more than 100 people that include referees, officials and members of the football federation.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Beenhakker uncertain to stay after Polish FA clash

The chances of Dutch manager Leo Beenhakker staying with the Polish national team depend on a conversation the coach is to have with the association's new chairman on Wednesday.

In an interview with AD/Sportwereld, a sportspaper in the Netherlands, Beenhakker commented on recent difficulties with the Polish FA. The coach disagrees with policies set by FA chairman Grzegorz Lato, who as a result invited the manager to his office on Tuesday.

"I don't want to say too much about it yet. If you burp in let's say China, it'll be all over the internet the next minute and it can be used against you," the coach said about Tuesday's meeting.

"At least I have made a few proposals. If the gentlemen agree, I can continue. If not, it'll be a different story. I really don't know how it'll end."

Beenhakker has coached a large amount of teams over the last 36 years, including clubs as Ajax, Real Madrid and Club America. He also managed the national teams of the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Trinidad and Tobago before trying his luck in Poland.

After qualifying for this year's European Championships, the final tournament itself was considered a disappointment as the Poles were eliminated in the first round.

Monday, December 15, 2008

No charges levelled at Taser cops

The four Richmond Mounties involved in the Tasering of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski will not be charged with criminal wrongdoing.

Crown prosecutors with the B.C. Criminal Justice branch Friday confirmed there was not enough evidence to sustain criminal charges against any of the former Richmond RCMP officers involved in the incident at Vancouver International Airport more than a year ago.

The officers involved in the incident are identified as Cpl. Benjamin Monty Robinson, Const. Kwesi Millington, Const. Bill Bentley and Const. Gerry Rundel.

Stan Lowe of the Crown prosecutor's office revealed Dziekanski had been shocked five times, not twice, as originally reported by RCMP.

In the days immediately following the incident, an eyewitness contradicted the RCMP's version of events, saying she thought she heard four charges go off.

Walter Kosteckyj, the lawyer representing Dziekanski's mother, Zophia Cisowski, said his client had been devastated to learn the four Mounties involved would not be charged.

"We knew that he had been Tasered at least twice," Kosteckyj said. "(Friday) we find out that the woman that was at the airport was accurate when she said he was Tasered on multiple occasions.

"The question that Zophia had for the prosecutor is: 'How can you tell me that my son -- who can't speak the language, and was lost and in distress and needed help -- was besotted upon by four Mounties, Tasered five times, jumped upon and restrained to the point where his heart gave out, that that is not excessive force?' And if that isn't, what is?"

He added that the threshold for criminal charges are high, and suggested the officers may not be off the hook yet, as they still face the possibility of a civil suit, not to mention a provincial inquiry and coroner's inquest.

Dziekanski, 40, had arrived at YVR on Oct. 14, 2007 after a 21-hour flight, and spent nine hours wandering lost at the airport. He appeared to be given little direction or assistance from airport staff.

Police who travelled to Poland later learned Dziekanski had been emotionally distraught even before he left, and was so terrified of flying that he had missed one plane because he refused to get on it.

It was only after Dziekanski began acting violently in a secure area of the airport -- throwing things like a computer terminal -- did anyone appear to take note and call security.

Within seconds of arriving on the scene, RCMP shot him with a Taser, discharging the gun five times -- three times in probe mode and twice in push-stun mode. He died shortly thereafter.

But it wasn't the Tasering alone that caused his death, according to the Crown.

Pathologists concluded heart disease caused by chronic alcoholism and the 'stress of physical restraint worsened by the deployment of the Taser" may have all caused his heart to stop.

"Since this incident, the RCMP has made a number of changes to its conducted energy weapon policies, training, practices and reporting requirements," RCMP acting commissioner Al MacIntyre said at a press conference Friday.

But when asked if, given the same circumstances, a similar incident could occur, RCMP officials confirmed it could, saying the four officers behaved according to proper RCMP policy.

"Based on the investigation information before me, I don't see a policy breach," said Supt. Wayne Rideout, who was in charge of the investigation by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT).

Video shot by Paul Pritchard shows Dziekanski, when confronted by police, to be backing up and putting his hands in the air in a demonstration of compliance when he was shot by one of the officers with a Taser.

RCMP said the video does not tell the whole story. IHIT investigators interviewed 10 witnesses, the four police officers, Canada Border Services Agency staff and viewed surveillance video. Given what the officers had been told before they arrived, and given what they saw when they arrived, they were entirely within their right to use the Taser, RCMP brass said.

As they made their way to the area where Dziekanski was throwing a fit, officers were getting constant updates from their dispatcher, who was relaying information about a man who was throwing things around and in a state of emotional distress.

After Dziekanski put his hands up, officers saw him pick up something. It turned out to be a stapler.

MacIntyre said police officers often don't know what they are walking into when confronting someone who appears to be emotionally unstable. "They routinely face situations most would run from," he said. "As police officers they never know what to expect."

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Drama that lasted for years

Almost everyone has heard about the case of Krzysztof Olewnik. Kidnapped in 2001 the son of a businessman from Plock was kept in inhuman conditions and finally murdered by his kidnappers. His family paid the ransom of 300,000 euros but he was not saved. The Olewniks are convinced that it were the tardiness and cardinal negligence of the police that brought about the tragedy.

Krzysztof’s father Wlodzimierz Olewnik is still fighting to reveal the whole truth connected with the tragedy of his son. He wants to know who the decision-maker was, who organised the kidnapping, who ordered to hold Krzysztof for such a long time and finally, who ordered his murder. But not only that. Olewnik wants to get to know what the investigation of the police and the prosecutors looked like. Since this story has too many question marks and unfortunate coincidences, too many bad events that led to the death of this young man.
The list of accusations brought by the Olewniks is unusually long and the activities of the judiciary seem to be some incomprehensible game, which can be logically explained only when we use the measure of the Olewniks and their lawyers – deliberate murderous plan that was conducted with premeditation, plan the participants of which could be some officials of the judiciary.

Let us briefly mention the chronology of the events. In October 2001 Krzysztof Olewnik was kidnapped from his home in Drobin near Plock. He was a young businessman trading steel, a son of the owners of meat works located in the vicinity of Plock. He was kidnapped during the night when there was a meeting with some policemen in the house. The host did not drink any alcohol and he gave ride to his guests. The kidnappers waited on the other side of the road. Someone left open the doors to the balcony. The kidnappers could enter in freely. The family phoned the police at once, even before the kidnappers contacted them. Two days later the kidnappers demanded 300,000 euro, a trifle really, for Krzysztof’s life. However, almost two years passed before the ransom was picked up. Several dozen attempts to pay the ransom were not successful. For the next two years the kidnappers regularly contacted the family. They were very clever. The Olewniks received letters written by kidnapped Krzysztof or received phone calls during which his recorded voice was played.

One could hear that Krzysztof was forced to say the words and that he was beaten. However, the police concluded that Krzysztof had kidnapped himself although according to the family there was no evidence to prove this thesis. ‘Why could he have done this?’, asks the father.

He had no reasons at all.

Very soon the family became suspicious about the competences of the police. The mistakes in the investigation were cardinal.

Here are only some examples from the long list prepared by the family’s lawyers. Not all traces found on the spot were sent to analysis; although the kidnappers contacted the family several times the police did not check any phone call, where they were from; moreover, they did not record the phone calls with the kidnappers; the gathered materials were not analysed; when Mr Olewnik had received an anonymous letter with the names of the kidnappers 9 months before his son was killed the police did not make any effort to check the information. ‘They underestimated the matter and even tried to convince me that there was no anonymous letter at all’, Wlodzimierz Olewnik says. ‘The police constantly endorses a thesis of self-kidnapping, which makes the whole matter a case of family warfare’, adds Ireneusz Wilk, the family’s lawyer. When the kidnappers made another attempt to settle the way of picking up the ransom the family wrote down the numbers of the notes and Danuta, Krzysztof’s sister took the money to hand it to the bandits. No one instructed her what to do. By the way, from the beginning the Olewniks were not instructed how to talk to the kidnappers. The police did not even give a bulletproof vest to the woman. Thus the kidnappers took the money undisturbed and disappeared… Almost two months later they murdered Krzysztof.

By the way, the police did not check whether the notes for the ransom appeared somewhere. The Polish police informed the Interpol about the money only a year after the criminals had seized it.

According to the Olewniks the police could have found the criminals getting to bottom of the matter and what’s more they could have prevented the death of tortured Krzysztof who had lived two years being chained to the wall and he spent the last two months of his life in the concrete septic tank. But the evidence that could have brought the police to the criminals was in the desks of the policemen who made the investigation.

That happened to the famous VHS tape that recorded the moment when the leader of the criminal group had been buying a cell phone. The tape was recorded in 2001, a month after Krzysztof’s kidnapping and it showed the leader of the kidnappers buying the cell phone which he used to call the Olewnik family. The police in Plock questioned the shop assistant but no conclusions were drawn then.

According to the opinions of many people the theft of all the documents of the investigation from the police car was bizarre (the careless policemen had left the documents in the car). Wilk, the family’s lawyer, says about several ‘miracles’ that accompanied this strange case. Fortunately, the documents had been copied and sent to Krakow. If they had not been copied all evidence would be lost forever. The family asks why the evidence found on the spot (a hair of the criminal called Kosciuk) remained in the desk for over four years and its DNA analysis had not been made when the hair pointed to its owner who was a man whom the police had known. When he was finally arrested and a phone card that the kidnappers had used was found on him the prosecutor released the offender… because his sister testified that her brother was insane. ‘To tell the truth, there are many such situations in this case’, admits Mr Wilk. ‘One can clearly see that the witnesses were terrorised and the information given by the family was not considered. The despaired family were beguiled with promises of quick recapturing of Krzysztof. And the time flew.

When the round-and-tumble took place, the investigation was delayed, the information was ignored and the evidence was not checked Krzysztof Olewnik was still alive…The Olewniks appealed to the superiors of the policeman that investigated the case and they reached their higher superiors as well. They did their best. They managed to make the ministers of justice as well as general and national prosecutors get interested in the case of Krzysztof. However, after some time the right anger of the high officials was strangely weakened and finally changed into an ordinary indifference. There was a considerable progress when the case was taken over by the public prosecutor’s office in Olsztyn. By the way, it was Olewnik senior that made a few attempts to ask another prosecutor’s office to take over the investigation. In the end, in 2005, four years after the kidnapping, there were some activities undertaken. The police arrested one by one the members of the group that had kidnapped, tortured Krzysztof and killed him. The prosecutor’s office prepared the indictment act: 11 people who had caused the tragedy in various ways were to be accused. But even then there were some strange events, in the opinion of the family.

Before the trial the main prisoner at the bar Wojciech Franiewski committed suicide. But few people believed that this cruel and brutal criminal was haunted by remorse. A few months after the verdict the second main criminal Kosciuch met a similar fate. The circumstances of this suicide evoke considerable doubts.

More and more commentaries in the press presented another version of the reason for kidnapping and murdering Krzysztof Olewnik. The matter did not stop being sensational and numerous journalists got interested in this hot topic. The next acts of the drama were seen by the whole of Poland. The arrest of the criminals, the cruel details of the crime, the despaired faces of the family. And the motif of double bottom kept returning.

On 5 May 2008 Bronislaw Wildstein wrote in Rzeczpospolita, ‘The case of the kidnapping and murder of Krzysztof Olewnik can be treated as an example of amazing incompetence of the Polish law enforcement bodies and judiciary overlapped by corruption of some of their representatives… Olewnik did not want to subordinate to the business-political post-communist connections that under the rules of Miller kept domineering the Polish economy in an increasingly ostentatious way. One of their method was to destroy the economic enterprises that were not connected with the.’ Many other commentators openly write about the revenge taken on the Olewnik family by the local political-business system to which both Olewniks, the father and the son, did not want to belong.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wife and two children commission father’s murder

Hey, I know something to do! Why don't we kill dad?
Eight people, including three teenagers have been arrested in connection with the murder of a restaurant owner from Wloclawek, central Poland.

Among the detained is the closest family of the victim, suspected of organizing the crime.

The murder was committed a week ago in the man’s apartment. The initial investigation revealed that for a long time he had been beating his family. The police was alerted by the wife, who reported that she found her husband dead after she returned home.

After three days the police managed to establish the identity and capture two suspects, a 25-year-old man and his 15-year-old accomplice. Police also arrested three other people involved in the crime, including a 16-year-old daughter of the victim.

Charges of inciting murder were levelled also against the murdered man’s wife and his 17-year-old son.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Top referee Grzegorz Gilewski held in corruption scandal

The Central Anticorruption Bureau, CBA, has detained international referee Grzegorz Gilewski. in connection with the widespread corruption scandal in Polish football.

The man will be before the public prosecutor's office in Wroclaw, south- western Poland, which is investigating the case.

Another offal close to Gilewski, Tomasz S., has also been detained.

Gilewski, considered one of the three yop referees in Poland, had been chosen by the Polish Football Association as one of the candidates to lead final of World Cup in 2010. Since 2005 he refereed in the Champions League.

The inquiry into corruption in Polish football has been ongoing since May 2005, with 170 referees, managers and other members of Polish Football Association charged so far.

The lawsuit was launched in the court in Wroclaw in December 2007, when 17 people, including allegedly responsible for the corruption process Ryszard F., alias Fryzjer (Hairdresser), stood in the dock.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

DJ Moyles sorry for Polish prostitute jibe

Chris Moyles has apologised for seeming to suggest on his Radio 1 show that Polish people make good prostitutes.

The 34-year-old DJ prompted complaints after telling listeners last month: "I've always found in my experience prostitutes make very good cleaners, and their ironing, brilliant.

"I just find if you're Polish you're just very good at ironing... and prostitutes, (they're) very good also at fixing cars."

Moyles said he did not intend to cause any offence.

In a statement he said: "I didn't mean to link Polish people and prostitution in the way that has been suggested, but of course I realise that some people have taken it that way and to those people I'm sorry for the unintentional offence."

The latest apology from the BBC comes in the wake of the Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand prank calls scandal and actor John Barrowman exposing himself during a live Radio 1 show on Sunday.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

RIGHTS-EUROPE: Scandal over CIA "Renditions" in Poland

Portuguese European Parliament member Ana Gomes will ask the EU legislative body to restart the debate on stopovers in EU territory by secret CIA flights carrying prisoners captured in Afghanistan.

The Portuguese socialist deputy became known for her active role in the European Parliament’s temporary committee on CIA flights and prisoner renditions (TDIP), set up to report on the use of EU airspace and airport facilities for the transportation of terror suspects to third countries for interrogation (known as "extraordinary renditions") between 2001 and 2005.

Following two years of investigations which concluded last January, the committee reported that 336 stopovers had taken place in Germany, 170 in the United Kingdom, 147 in Ireland, 91 in Portugal, 68 in Spain, 64 in Greece, 57 in Cyprus and 46 in Italy, and issued recommendations to the EU.

The committee lamented that it was not possible to verify the existence of secret detention centres in Poland, due to the Polish government’s lack of cooperation in the investigation, which according to the chairman of the committee, conservative Portuguese deputy Carlos Coelho, "fuelled suspicions."

Among the main recommendations was a request to the European Commission, the EU executive body, to launch an "independent investigation" into the possibility that any of its member states violated human rights and fundamental freedoms by cooperating with the CIA.

If found guilty, member states would face possible sanctions outlined in the EU treaty.

Unlike Gomes’ previous requests, the latest one has found echo among politicians of the governing Socialist Party, led by Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates. Socialist officials want to question Foreign Minister Luis Amado on CIA flights authorised to pass through Portugal.

Instead of joining the pro-U.S. voices in the party hostile to Gomes, former justice minister Jose Vera Jardim and former labour minister Paulo Pedroso are pressuring the executive to clarify whether any contacts took place between Lisbon and Washington, with a view to allowing CIA flights to pass through Portuguese territory.

The deputies, both prominent figures within the ranks of the Socialist Party, asked the foreign minister if he had launched, or planned to launch, an inquiry into possible contacts between Portugal and the U.S. similar to those reported by the newspaper El Pais with regard to Spain.

Citing an official document, the influential Spanish paper once again reported, in its Dec. 1 edition, that former conservative prime minister Jose Maria Aznar (1996-2004) authorised the stopover in Spanish airports of rendition flights headed for Guantanamo.

The daily had previously reported that Portugal gave the go-ahead to CIA flights. Deputy Gomes had made the same accusation, in an interview with IPS.

Amado has been asked by Vera Jardim and Pedroso to shed light on the possibility of Portuguese and U.S. authorities having established contacts similar to those reported by El Pais, and on whether or not such conversations were documented.

The document leaked by El Pais dates back to January 2002, when Portugal was governed by the now United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres. Later that year Guterres was replaced by Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, the current president of the European Commission, who headed the Portuguese cabinet until June 2004.

Portugal’s foreign minister reacted by denying knowledge of "any official document in Portugal, whether in the Defense or Foreign Affairs ministry archives, that would compromise any previous cabinet on this matter."

Amado has urged critics to "patiently await results," pointing to the ongoing "process in the Attorney General’s Office, which is free to investigate and access information."

The inquiry began in January 2007 when, following an accusation by Gomes, Attorney General Fernando Jose Pinto Monteiro ordered an investigation into alleged illegalities committed by Portuguese governments.

Asked by IPS to comment on the reasons behind her request to spark an investigation affecting a government headed by her own party, Gomes said it was the prime minister’s lack of substantive support in cooperating with the investigation that prompted her to submit "documents with relevant information" to Pinto Monteiro.

She added that CIA flights "not only passed through Portugal, because they came from Spain and Italy, and the European Parliament also investigated Germany, Sweden and Britain," where, unlike in Portugal, there were no "attempts to obstruct the investigation."

The European Parliament and human rights groups have accused Portugal of allowing suspicious plane stopovers in the Porto airport in northern Portugal, and in the Azores islands in the Atlantic, where the U.S. air base of Lajes lies halfway between Europe and North America.

Most U.S. military flights were allowed by Portugal in the spirit of the Lajes agreement. However, stopovers by Saudi, Kuwaiti, French and British planes remain shrouded in mystery.

Gomes points a finger at the slow pace of investigations, which she said was caused by an "aim to conceal. Many governments share this approach, centred on Durao Barroso’s attitude to silence it in the name of the alliance with the U.S.

"It’s unacceptable for a state to obstruct the quest for truth in a case involving murder, torture, kidnapping and other human rights violations," added the European Parliament deputy.

The Attorney General’s Office investigation should clarify whether the Lajes base was used by U.S. forces as an illegal detention centre for terror suspects seized mainly in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks on Washington and New York.

"The team of European deputies engaged in this matter will not give up. We will push for a public debate and we want to know with how many of the European Parliament’s recommendations the 27 member states have complied with," said Gomes.

El Pais claimed Washington had duly informed Portugal, Italy and Turkey of the CIA flights, and Gomes said "they were obviously notified."

Noting recent changes in the world, Gomes called on "EU members, including Portugal, to decide how they will help the next U.S. administration, led by (Barack) Obama, to close Guantanamo."

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Commission orders Gorski apologise

Parliamentary Ethics Commission said, Thursday, that MP Artur Gorski of the Law and Justice party should apologize in the form of a parliamentary statement for his insulting comments about American president - elect Barack Obama.

Head of the Commission Elzbieta Witek underlined that the Ethics Commission was willing to abandon its plan to punish Gorski, if apologies appeared in a proper form.

Thus the Commission decided to stay legal proceedings, which were commenced, November, on application of the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) head Grzegorz Napieralski.

Napieralski petitioned the Commission to punish Artur Gorski for his statement in parliament, that Obama's election spelled “the end of white man’s civilization” and that the new US president was a “black crypto-communist”, which caused an international stir.

Elzbieta Witek said that the apologies should be announced in the parliament, just like Gorski's former statement.

Gorski told journalists that he probably will apologise, underlining, however, that he has two weeks to make up his mind.

“I thought that my former statement would put an end to the matter,” said Gorski, referring to a statement he made earlier, claiming his remarks were taken out of context. “But it seems that it is the commission's reaction to my apologies that counts," said Gorski. He added that in terms of content the statement would probably be similar to the letter written to the Speaker of the Sejm, Bronislaw Komorowski from Civic Platform, in which Gorski apologized for the incident.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Truckers block Belarus border

Lorry drivers have staged a protest, over the limit on the amount of fuel carried to Poland in petrol tanks, blocking the customs clearance of lorries on the border crossing with Belarus in Koroszczyn, western Poland.

According to Cezary Grochowski, police spokesman in Biala Podlaska, western Poland, several lorries have blocked the pass to the terminal.

The protest has been mounted by the Carriers Organization in Biala Podlaska, whose head Slawomir Kostian expressed his disappointment with the import fuel limits that, instead of being lifted by 1 December, have only been increased from 200 to 600 litres.

"Such limits make customs officers measure the fuel amount carried in the tanks, thus lengthening the whole procedure and giving way to corruption," said Kostian, calling for rules enabling any fuel amount to be carried in a lorry tank.

Protesters have decided to give way only to lorries carrying live animals and food that can go off easily.

Carriers do not want to cut down the amount of fuel brought to Poland in lorries' tanks due to its lower price by our eastern neighbours.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Drunken Polish "i want to ride my bicycle"

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Poland's gender problem: As the case of Olsztyn's former mayor proves, sexual harassment is alive and well in Poland

He is such a good man, such a good mayor. He did so much for the city. And if he smacked a few bottoms? So what?

Poland has a lot to learn about sexual equality.

The mayor's fall

It took a referendum to remove Czeslaw Malkowski, the mayor of Olsztyn, from office. Despite his complicated communist past, despite the largely unfavorable opinions of his co-workers and a slew of enemies on the city council, Malkowski did very well for himself for many years. A sex scandal proved his eventual downfall though, a situation that just couldn't be overlooked.

Looking broadly at this case, it's easy to see that civilized norms in male-female workplace relations are beginning to appear in Poland. But they are obviously nascent - a large group of Olsztynians remains convinced that Malkowski did nothing wrong. In popular Polish consciousness, especially among older people and the less educated, "sexual harassment in the workplace" does not exist. Instead, the sexual predations of an employer are simply a standard work hazard for female employees.

Blessed and defended

The public prosecutor levelled serious charges against Malkowski - three counts of sexual harassment and one of rape of a pregnant employee. A recording was aired on television that showed the mayor of Olsztyn trying to persuade, in an incredibly vulgar way, a female employee to have sex with him and "telephone sex" with one of his employees.

What would have been severely and unequivocally criticized in most other EU countries was justified in Poland. First of all, the media showed the citizenry defending their mayor and then the Roman Catholic Church interceded on his behalf. After the affair became public, prayers were offered on the mayor's behalf in churches.

Next, the members of veterans' organizations charged into the battle. One person condoned about the mayor's sexual excesses thusly: "But nothing bad happened, he didn't kill anyone and he did a lot of good for the city." Another elderly citizen, quoting an archaic Polish proverb, put the blame on the victims: "The dog doesn't take what the bitch doesn't offer" ("Suka nie da, pies nie wezmie").

The fact that Malkowski was removed from office is a good sign, but the actual numbers involved should not leave any illusions - just 32 percent of Olsztyn's inhabitants took part in the referendum, and 57 percent voted to remove the mayor. Sociologists investigated this and found that Malkowski's active critics were overwhelmingly representatives of the intelligentsia.

In fact, the Malkowski affair might not have happened had it not been for his great predecessor - former Deputy Prime Minister Andrzej Lepper, of the Self-defense party. Lepper too was damaged by a sex scandal and high-ranking Self-defense officials allegedly based the advancement and salary levels of female staff on their performance of sexual services.

Only without exaggeration…

Poland is on the right track. The problem of sexual harassment in the workplace has at last been recognized and - more or less - condemned. Women know that they do not have to agree to such propositions and that an abusive employer can be permanently removed from a position of authority through due process.

It would be good if more Polish women became aware of this. However, it would be bad if the role of gender in the workplace became overemphasized. I hope that Poland will not cross the line into the absurd, where a sincere "you look nice today" will result in the speaker being dragged off and hung from the scaffold of political correctness. It would be silly if every compliment linked to physiognomy led to a dismissal.

I remember when, 10 or so years ago, my employer at the time entered our office. "You look fantastic," he said - I had just come back from holiday, felt relaxed and had a suntan. However, my colleague, an ardent feminist, immediately gave me a lecture on what had really occurred. I learned from her that this was a form of harassment, almost a sexual proposition, which I should have firmly and unambiguously rejected instead of acting like he had given me pleasure!

I felt stupid, but after a while I decided that perhaps my colleague was objective because she was looking at the problem from the outside. She had the face and figure of a troll, and spent little on clothes or make-up. But not every little comment amounts to harassment.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Greenpeace targets Poland

In the run up to the UN Climate Change Conference taking place this week and next in Poznan, the issue of climate change was brought into the public eye by Greenpeace, which publicly demonstrated against coal use. The protesters wanted to highlight the issue of Poland's over-reliance - as they see it - on coal to power its power stations.
An estimated 93 percent of Polish power stations run on coal.

Early last week Greenpeace activists demonstrated at mining firm KWB Konin's Jozwin 2B opencast lignite mine in Konin. They oppose the expansion of the mine, which they say will cause nearby LakeGoplo to dry up.

Having entered the mine's premises, they proceeded to try to paint a large "STOP" sign next to a giant excavator. An incident involving security officers and the protesters followed, and a group of 23 Greenpeace demonstrators and journalists was taken to police headquarters in Konin.

KWB Konin has said that it will take legal action against the protesters, who in turn are considering legal proceedings because of the rough treatment they claim to have received from the security guards.

Later in the week the environmental group dumped four tonnes of coal in front of the Sheraton hotel in Warsaw, where the Economy Ministry's climate-change-oriented Summit on Sectoral Cooperation was taking place. A banner bearing the text "Get serious, quit coal" was also erected.

Greenpeace has accused the Polish government of "actively sabotaging" the EU's climate change and energy package with its expansion of coal-mining.

Karolina Jankowska of Poland's Green Party, Zieloni 2004, while clearly sympathetic to Greenpeace's cause, said that their action was directed against the wrong adversary.

"I would suggest that this type of environmental organization should focus its efforts on criticizing the government, and not companies which are operating in the framework defined by the politicians who make the laws," said Jankowska.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Teen arsons torch bus in Lublin

Two high school students in Lublin, southeastern Poland, torched a bus while intoxicated.

For attempting to take the life of the other bus passengers, the students face up to ten years in prison.

The eighteen-year-olds were returning home from school on the national bus carrier PKS after having taken their practice-baccalaureate exams. They were seated at the rear of the bus when they set fire to the seats. The driver of the bus immediately stopped the vehicle and put out the fire.

Passengers on board did not allow the arsonists to escape.

One of the teens had more than one per mil in their system.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Poles are late on their payments

InfoDlug has released a report stating that Poles overdue debt has surpassed zl.8 billion

Poles are lagging behind in their monthly payments and the overdue debt has amounted in November to zl.8.12 billion, according to a report published by InfoDlug. According to the report, not only has the number of people with overdue bills has grown, but so has the average sum of overdue debt. In the last quarter, the average sum owed has risen 10 percent, to zl.6,425. Meanwhile, the number of Poles who owe money has risen 5 percent to 1.26 million people.

The zl.8.12 billion debt includes payments owed for loan installments and lease payments, as well as for energy, telecommunication and rent bills. Most of the debts are between zl. 2,001-5,000 and almost half of debtors, 46 percent, are petty debtors, whose debts do not cross zl.2,000.

According to Andrzej Topinski, main economist of Biuro Informacji Kredytowej S.A., mortgage loans are paid off much better than commercial loans. Meawhile, Mariusz Wyzycki, vicepresident at BIK said, "We should remember that today even the slightest debt will effect the banks decision in granting loans, mortgages and credit cards."

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Suspicious manipulations cause speculation at the WSE

The order placed by JP Morgan shortly before the closing of trade on the WSE on November 12 pushed indices up 5 percent and was regarded as a manipulation by the Financial Supervisory Commission (KNF)
The issue will now be handled by the prosecutor. "Accusations presented by KNF are serious. It looks like manipulation. It is good that the supervisory board handled this issue that well," said Wieslaw Rozlucki, former president of the WSE.

The bid had a value of zl.130 million of which zl.100 million was carried out as a shares purchase. A broker acted on behalf of JP Morgan Securities, and decided to carry out his own economic interests related to futures contracts. Previously a broker at the Polish side was informing that the execution of such a bid could significantly influence the condition of the market. However, he was being informed that there will be a huge sales order at the other side and despite it was not carried out, the client decided to push through with the transaction.

The task of the prosecutor will be to point out who personally made this order and wanted to influence share prices on the side of JP Morgan.

WSE suffers another terrible day, hits five year low

In a related story, after Wednesday's surprising rise the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE) entered a downward spiral with stocks tumbling with double the force yesterday
The WIG20 lost 5.79 percent and was pulled down mainly by Bioton, Agora and KGHM. The wider WIG index lost 4.81 percent and hit its lowest level since December 2003. The falls were accompanied by larger than usual turnover, which stood at zl.1.3 billion.

These results came as analysts fear the deepening global recession. In the US, the number of those who registered as unemployed hit a 16 year high, while the price of oil fell in London to below USD 50 per barrel as European bourses also suffered major loses.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Beenhakker ready to quit as Poland manager?

Veteran Poland coach Leo Beenhakker has hinted internal politics may prompt him to end his term as national team boss.

Beenhakker, 66, is currently overseeing Poland's qualification campaign for the 2010 World Cup with the team third in Group 3 behind Slovakia and Czech Republic.

Football in Poland has been in disarray since investigations into corruption were instigated in 2005 and matters came to a head when the Sports Ministry filed a petition to suspend the football association (PZPN).

FIFA in turn threatened to impose sanctions on Poland, which would have cost them their right to host the next European Championships, if the government continued to intervene in football matters.

The matter seemed to be resolved but Beenhakker clearly has ongoing issues with the administration.

The former Ajax and Feyenoord coach told Dutch broadcaster RTV Rijnmond: "I must admit that I don' t have an easy task at the moment, because of the work of the FA, who look to fall back to the past.

"I am 66 years old and I don't feel much like being annoyed all the time.

Beenhakker is set to hold talks with the Polish association before the weekend.