Wednesday, February 11, 2009

New justice minister nominated

Andrzej Czuma has been nominated to the post of Poland’s justice minister. He replaces Zbigniew Cwiakalski dismissed in the scandal surrounding prison suicides committed by main convicts in a kidnapping case.

Czuma said his greatest challenge would be to increase the sense of public security among society. Clearing up the case of the kidnapping and murder of Krzysztof Olewnik and the following controversies would be his priority, he said: 'It will be my priority to look very closely into the work of law enforcement services, in order to wipe out all kinds of weird mafia-type groups there, the ties between politicians and bandits. In order to undertake effective tasks, you have to take a very close look at all that.'

Czuma's appointment by the PM still needs approval of the President. According to minister Michal Kaminski from the President’s Office, given the candidate’s impeccable record, this should only be a formality.

Andrzej Czuma, 70 years old, is an MP of the ruling Civic Platform (PO) and former activist of the democratic opposition in the communist period. He was imprisoned for 7 years by the regime for organizing the Movement In Defense Of Civic and Human Rights. He was also a regional Solidarity advisor after August 1980. Interned during martial law till December 1982, Czuma emigrated to the United States in 1986 not returning to Poland till 2005. Andrzej Czuma has been merited with Poland’s highest state distinctions for his pro-democratic activity.