Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Polish police arrest 21 in anti-smuggling operation

Investigators have arrested 21 suspects in raids against a cigarette-smuggling operation between Ukraine and Italy, thought to have generated millions of dollars, police said Tuesday.

The smuggling gang, which moved their cargoes through several European countries, had defrauded the EU authorities of at least eight million zloty (1.75 million euros, 2.46 million dollars), said police.

The gang was based in both Poland and Italy and had been active from January 2006, said a statement from the Lublin provincial police headquarters, eastern Poland.

They had smuggled at least 53 sizable shipments of contraband cigarettes between the two countries, via Romania, Austria, Greece, Slovenia and Croatia.

The suspects, aged between 29 and 57, face charges related to participation in organised crime, tax fraud and money laundering punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Three of the suspects are women.

In May, Polish police dismantled the biggest black market cigarette factory ever found in Poland, seizing 8.5 million cigarettes and 22 tonnes of tobacco.

Six Poles and six Ukrainians were detained. The cigarettes had been destined for western European countries, said police.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Belarus KGB: Massive spike in drug smuggling into Poland

Rising demand in Poland for recreational narcotics is behind a sharp spike in the smuggling of drugs and intermediate chemical substances from Russia through Belarus, an official from Belarus' KGB secret police said Tuesday. Clandestine shipments of psychotropic narcotics manufactured in Russia and ready for use in Poland or elsewhere in the European Union shot up a whopping ten times over the same period, said Valery Nadtochaev, a KGB spokesman.

The volume of illicit transfers of Russia-produced chemical materials needed for narcotics manufacture through Belarus to Poland had increased sevenfold since 2008, Nadtochaev said.

"Poland has become one of the world leaders in the production of synthetic drugs ... we are seeing a huge increase in the smuggling of precursor materials from Russia through Belarus," he said.

Belarusian arrests of persons on narcotics trading charges were up 60 per cent, but the volume of drugs getting through to Poland remained massive and was likely to continue to rise, according to the KGB report.

Belarus as per the terms of a "favoured-nation" trading agreement with Moscow polices its eastern border lightly, with few if any checks to persons or transport entering the former Soviet republic from Russia.

Belarus controls its western and northern borders with Poland and the Baltic states Lithuania and Latvia more closely, but smugglers often find routes into the EU using the region's thickly-forested and swampy terrain, sometimes with the assistance of local villagers with few other means to generate income, Nadtochaev said.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dog holds up traffic in Lodz

Lodz emergency services have saved a dog that got stuck under a tram, refused to be tempted out by sausage and held up traffic in the central Polish city for several hours.

The dog ran under a tram at the Pilsudski-Sarnia stop when the vehicle was stopped. Fortunately, the conductor noticed and did not start moving.

After locals were unable to coax the animal out with sausages, police and firemen arrived on scene with a special crane, lifted the tramcar and removed the dog from harm’s way.

No one from the area recognized or claimed the dog, so police took it to the local animal shelter.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Car parts for beer?

Two students from Szczecin, northern Poland, funded their life during their first year of studies by stealing and selling small parts from cars.

Szczecin residents noticed two young men stealing the signs off of a Ford Focus and telephoned for the police, who caught up with them on a near-by street. Police found aluminum screw from automobile rims and other parts not only from the Ford Focus, but from other cars as well.

Twenty-year old Artur D. and 21-year old Pawel J. were roommates in the dormitory and first-year students at a Szczecin university. Police found over 150 small auto parts in the boys room, including: antennas, mirrors, symbols and rims.

After searching the students’ computers, it was determined that Artur D. and Pawel J. were selling the parts on internet auctions and making enough income to support themselves for several months.

Investigators are now searching for victims of the many crimes the students completed in Szczecin and in the neighbouring cities of Koszalin and Swidwin. Both young men admitted to their crimes, submitted testimonies, remain in police custody and face up to five years in prison.

Friday, June 26, 2009

New anti-Semitic incidents in Poland

A synagogue in the southwestern Polish city of Wroclaw was desecrated last weekend by unknown people who painted a swastika, the SS symbol as well as the inscription “Jude Raus” (Jews out).
The incident at The White Stork Synagogue ('Synagoga Pod Bialym Bocianem') was reported to the local police.
Similar graffiti were also found at a nearby Jewish Information Center which had already been targeted earlier this year by people who painted the words “Free Palestine” in English on the house.
Cleaning the graffiti will cost the Wroclaw municipality about 1500 euros (2080 dollars).
On Tuesday, an anti-Semitic inscription in Polish was also found on the entrance sign of the Gdansk-Chelm Jewish cemetery. The inscription translates to "Jews to the oven, for this is your place".

The Chelm cemetery is one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in Central Europe, dating back to 1694. It was recently renovated.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Polish police in crisis

Polish police started saving money. Police officers do not get their salaries on regular basis, despite it is guaranteed by the law. “We can not live this way. I got only 20 % of my regular salary” – said one officer. All officers promised that they would sue Polish state.

According to the special law about the police, every officer should be given money for paying his bills for house, commute to work and extra bonus connected with his holiday. “I used to get 120 PLN (27 euro) for my ticket, 170 PLN (37 euro) per person to pay for my flat and special subsidy for my holiday, what was around 250 PLN (58 euro) per person. Today I have absolutely nothing” – explained the policeman from Kielce.

Polish officers are irritated and sees to lose their patience. “My salary is 1800 PLN (418 euro) plus 400 PLN (93 euro) subsidy. It is a lot of money for me. I think that I will sue the state” – adds another policeman.

All cuts are connected with a new plans of Andrzej Trela who has announced that all subsidies would be postponed. Trade unions from every cities from Poland are collecting needed information about problems with salaries. “We will try to get our money back and start talking to our headquarter” – explained Maryla Bieniek who is a chairperson of a trade union in Swiltokszyskie province.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Polish police stop record number of drunk drivers

Polish police stopped a record 2,683 drunk drivers over a five-day holiday weekend, the Polish Press Agency PAP reported Monday.

Police also reported 612 accidents with 65 fatalities during the Catholic holiday weekend of Corpus Cristi, which began Wednesday.

'Police forecasts proved true. More drunk drivers got behind the wheel,' a police spokesman told PAP. 'This is a record number driving after consuming alcohol.'

There were 578 more drunk drivers stopped this year compared to 2008. Accidents also rose by 55 and fatalities rose by 12 compared to the same holiday weekend a year ago.

Poland, the largest of the former communist countries to enter the European Union in 2004, is notorious for its under-developed motorway network, many just dual carriageways, and lax driving standards.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Polish gamer faces copyright suit in US

Krzysztof R. is amongst a group of eight people involved in a copyright case filed by the publishers of books based on the fantasy game Dungeons & Dragons.

The group of eight people illegally disseminated the latest manual for the game published by Wizards of the Coast LLC. The publisher is demanding compensation for losses resulting from the violation of copyright laws.

Tolena Thorburn, spokesperson for the company, did not reveal the name of the city where the Pole is from. Thorburn stated, however, that Krzysztof R. is amongst eight people who distributed three of latest handbooks on the popular role-playing game on the internet. The books normally sell for 30 USD

Dungeons & Dragons is the first game of its type in the world: a role-playing fantasy game in which one plays a character in search of treasures. Around 20 million people play the game around the world.

Wizards of the Coast LLC filed a lawsuit against the Pole and seven others on the 6 April in Seattle, Washington, USA.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Boy saves drunken mother from blaze

An eight-year-old Polish boy has saved his sister and three drunken adults from a fire by calling police and fighting the flames before help arrived.

The fire started outside the door of the boy's apartment in the western town of Miedzyrzecz late on Monday.

Police said the boy was unable to wake up his mother or two men - all of whom were intoxicated - so called the emergency number himself.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Polish police arrest 31 pedophile suspects

Polish police Wednesday said they arrested 31 people on suspicion of distributing child pornography on the Internet.

Swiss police provided the address of an Internet site servicing pedophiles, and a special squad combating human trafficking conducted a major raid, searching 28 apartments and offices throughout Poland, Polish Radio reported.

Police detained 31 people and seized 40 desktops and laptops, as well as 1,400 DVDs and CDs and 28 hard discs, with pornographic content involving children.

If found guilty, the suspects could be sentenced to up to three years in prison for storing files of children less than 15 years of age, and up to eight years in prison for distributing child pornography.

Those detained included a teacher, gasoline station attendants, warehouse workers, an information technology expert, a consulting firm manager and several unemployed people, the report said.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Poles quick to condemn yet excuse themselves

Poles condemn infidelity, divorce, child abuse and putting one’s parents into a nursing home, according to a recent CBOS opinion poll.

The poll shows that sixty six percent of Poles do not approve of divorce and 31 percent think premarital sex is wrong. Every fifth Pole disapproves of living together in a relationship without being married, yet twenty percent of those polled claim to be in such a relationship.

Ninety-one percent of those who participated in the poll think there is no justification for cheating in a relationship yet 26 percent of men and every fifth female admits to having been unfaithful at some point or another in their relationship, according to research carried out by sexology professor Zbigniew Izdebski.

Poles similarly do not approve of putting their elderly parents in a nursing home. The CBOS poll shows that such an idea would not even cross 84 percent of Poles minds.

Ninety-five percent of Poles think that beating their child is bad and can never be justified.

“It is a paradox,” explains social psychologist Janusz Czapinski. According to Czapinski, Poles do not recognize their ‘sins’ and rather tend to find explanations for them. “Beating children is associated, for us, with dramatic violence, so we never think that we actually cross those barriers. […] Everything is a question of definition,” adds the psychologist.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Polish smugglers swallowed 200 packets of cocaine in bid to fool customs

Two men swallowed 200 packages of cocaine in a bid to give border agency officers the slip at Belfast International Airport, a court has heard.

The pair, both Polish, thought they were smuggling cannabis after arriving on a flight from Amsterdam last August. But after they were taken to hospital for examination it was discovered the drugs were in fact small packages of cocaine, worth an estimated £500,000, Antrim Crown Court heard.

Adam Ruczaj (28) and Tomasz Ciulwik (29), were jailed for 10 years and four months for trying to smuggle a kilo of cocaine each.

John Whiting, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HM Revenue and Customs said the detention of the two men by UK Border Agency officers should be a warning to all criminals.

After the sentences were passed he said: “These men say they thought they were smuggling cannabis, but drug trafficking is a dangerous and murky business.

“Violence and corruption follows the illegal drugs trade, regardless of the type or quantities involved. Criminals dealing in illegal drugs are thinking solely of profit and show disregard for the damage drugs do to individuals.”

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Back from the dead?

A woman declared dead woke up in the morgue and turned out to be just fine.

Police in Zwolen are investigating a very unusual case of a woman declared dead, who woke up in the morgue and turned out to be just fine.

A man called an ambulance on Friday morning for his sick wife. The doctor who arrived on the scene declared the woman dead and the patient was transported to a morgue. The family had began preparations for a funeral, when, in the afternoon, one of the morgue workers heard strange sounds and noticed that one of the bodies was actually moving. He called a doctor and the supposedly dead woman was taken to a hospital ward.

The local prosecutor's office has launched an investigation into this seemingly horror-movie situation.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Citizen from Tarnobrzeg wanted to poison food in supermarket

51 years old citizen from Tarnobrzeg threatened that he would poison food in a supermarket. He requested 50 thousand zloty ransom – informs policja.pl.

The criminal sent a letter with his threats to manger of the supermarket who immediately called the police. Police officers started their investigation, seized all evidences and set a trap for the criminal. As a result, 51 years old Andrzej K. was detained. He will stay in custody until his lawsuit. He may even be sentenced for ten years because of committed crime (extortion of money).

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Fatal choice of a young Polish hitch-hiker

23 years old citizen of Kalisz thought that luck was on his side, because he was able to find someone who could take him home in the middle of the night. Unfortunately he did not reach his house. The driver of the car was speeding 150 km/h and crashed into concrete wall. There were 6 people inside the car. Three of them are dead including unlucky hitch-hiker.

It was really tragic weekend due to many horrible car accidents. At least 18 people are dead. The worst accident occurred in Russów where five young people were coming back home from disco. However the car was speeding 150 km/h, the driver was able to see a hitch-hiker standing near the road. He decided to help him. 23 years old man set on back coach with three other people. As it turned out, he was not too lucky that night.

The driver lost control over the wheel and his Ford Escort crashed powerfully into a wall made of concrete. Three young passengers are dead, fourth stays in a hospital with serious injuries and the car is completely damaged.

20 years old driver came out of the accident unscathed. Despite of the fact that he was sober, the prosecutor’s office accused him of deliberate causing a fatal accident. He faces 8 years imprisonment sentence.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Drunken duo tried to run over Policemen with a tractor

Two patrolling Policemen form Swintokrzyskie province had an interesting and adventurous night. They noticed a tractor without number palates and wanted to stop it for a control. A driver did not stop and hit the Police car and he tried to do this again.

In the beginning a Policeman tried to stop a tractor by using a red light torch. A tractor did ignore this sign and crashed into a Police car and later tried to do it again on reverse gear. Later they started to escape. One of Policemen jumped on a tractor, but was pushed off by a passenger. A driver noticed the second Policeman and tried to run him over with his tractor.

That was too much. Police officers opened fire and hit rear tires three times. However that did not stop the tractor. It was stopped twenty minutes later, when Policemen got a back-up.

Both 37 years old driver and his 34 years old passenger turned out to be drunk. One had 3 pro miles alcohol in blood and the second one had two. They can spend up to 10 years behind bars as one of Policemen had to be taken to hospital

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Rent-a-mum changes mind?

Thirty-two year old Bozena K., who offered herself as a surrogate mother, did not want to give up the child but feared a court battle and gave in.

This is the first such case in Poland where a surrogate mother has ‘rented out’ her womb and found that, after nine months, she did not want to give up the child she carried.

The couple who paid Bozena K. for carrying a child for them were required to threaten legal action unless she give up her rights to the baby.

“Probably, [the mother] would get the child back because, from a legal point of view, she is the mother. If a man, who ‘rented’ her is the child’s biological father, then there would be a true court case over custody of the newborn,” Judge Robert Zagadla from the Warsaw District Courts told the daily Dziennik when asked about Bozena K.’s chances of winning the court case.

In Poland it is not illegal to hire a surrogate mother when one is incapable of conceiving normally because Poland has not ratified European law on bioethics which bans the practice.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Actress in political ad beaten

Police investigations continue into the brutal assault of an actress who appeared in a Law and Justice TV campaign ad.

The actress was brutally assaulted in front of her house by a group of young men last Saturday.

Anna Cugier-Kotka, who first appeared in an advertisement for the Civic Platform party in 2007 turned up in the central role in an advert for the opposition Law and Justice, for the European parliamentary elections last Sunday.

The actress says that, earlier, after the ad was first aired, she received threatening text messages and emails. She has also accused the police of refusing to file her report after the mugging.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Poles will die out?

According to Eurostat the birthrate in Poland per 1 woman is the lowest in Europe. There should be twice as many babies just to maintain the number of citizens. Results of this birth rate slump can be catastrophic. In 50 years there will be no one to work for pensions of older generations.

The birth rate in Poland has reached a level of 1.27. To a natural generation exchange it should be kept at the level of 2.11. Moreover situation is getting worse and worse. For last 20 years (1983-2003) the number of births has fallen by a half.

The only possible solution to this problem is following the example of other Western countries such as France and UK that import workers from Asia and Africa. The catholic newspaper “Go Niedzielny” quotes a historian Niell Ferguson, who claims that there has been the sharpest fall in population since a Black Death epidemic in XIV century.
  • Note: If only it could be so...
  • Thursday, June 11, 2009

    Children’s book offends Jewish people

    “One two three – every German person is stinky” or “Naked Jew came out of school so he is very poor” – these are examples of rhymes published in a book for children b a publishing house “Sonia Draga” from Katowice. The publisher wanted to show new and trendy rhymes for kids.

    The book by Joanna Furgalilska titled “Entliczek, pentliczek...best Polish rhymes” has just been published and promoted in Empik. This controversial publication which incensed many parents and teachers seems to be very controversial. According to experts this book is anti-Semitic, anti-German and anti-gypsy. Anna Kurczowska-Ossoli?ska wanted to by the book but fortunately she checked its content. Then she realized that the book contains prohibited information.

    “I want to teach my sons how to be tolerating for other nations and different people. If I had given them this book they would have learnt many bad things. I am sure that this book should not be given to small children” – underlined Anna Kurczowska-Ossolilska.

    Wednesday, June 10, 2009

    Government cannot cope with corruption?

    The financial crisis has lead to a decline in trust in business and half of the world’s population thinks that the private sector is riddled with corruption, according to a report published by Transparency International.

    Fifty-three percent of those polled by TI consider the private sector to be corrupt, a ten percent increase to 2004. The organization consider this to be a result of the global financial crisis.

    “We only see a difference when residents actively support honest businesses,” adds head of the organization, Huguette Labelle.

    Half of the 73,000 respondents worldwide claimed that they are ready and willing to pay a bit more for services (medical, public, utility, police and education) in order to rid the private sector of corruption. Poland, however, places amongst the bottom ten percent in this category, with less than thirty percent of the country’s respondents expressing a willingness to pay more money for less corruption.

    The sector most affected by corruption worldwide is public service, especially amongst political parties. Thirty-one percent of Poles consider public and civil servants to be corrupt while 23 percent of respondents consider political parties to be riddled with corruption.

    Only six percent of Poles admit to having offered a bribe in hopes for more expedient or better service.

    In the European Union, the percentage of people who think that their governments are wholly ineffective at fighting corruption. Forty three percent of Poles claim the government is unable to curtail bribery and other forms of corruption.

    Tuesday, June 09, 2009

    Palikot sues for libel

    Maverick MP Janusz Palikot has brought a libel action against the Dziennik daily for claiming that he received several million euro loans from anonymous companies.

    Dziennik alleged that Janusz Palikot of the ruling Civic Platform concealed information about having received two million zloty loans from several off-shore companies, among them New Age Private Foundation from Curacao. Dziennik speculated that either Palikot is supported financially by a generous donor or he lends money to himself in a complicated process of giving-and-receiving loans.

    Palikot is demanding a written apology from Axel Springer, Dziennik’s publisher, and 10 million zlotys (2,2 million euros) compensation, which he wants to donate to a hospice in the eastern city of Lublin.

    The compensation is very high, as to date far no Polish court has ever ruled this amount of damages for infringement of personal interests.

    Earlier this week Janusz Palikot brought a bill of indictment to the Warsaw-Mokotow District Court against the Dziennik journalists. If found guilty of libel, they may face up to two years in jail.

    Monday, June 08, 2009

    Poles on 100 most wanted criminals list

    There are 5 Poles on a list of 100 criminals in Europe and USA . Unfortunately they are not afraid of being recognized on streets or reported to the Police by their neighbor. According to "Dziennik" a mess in legislation is to be blamed for this situation.

    Most wanted Polish criminals do not have to flee abroad to feel safe. Police is afraid to publish their photos in Internet without court or states prosecutor's order.

    Five Polish criminals listed in this top 100 are extremely dangerous. They are accused of murders, rapes and brutal robberies. All those criminal acts were committed in Poland, but then offenders fled abroad. The list of 100 most wanted men was published by "Crimestoppers"- a British non profit organization that publishes details of most dangerous criminals in cooperation with the Police. Apart from their photos and names information such as committed crime details and even descriptions of tattoos are given. All that is done to help catching them.

    Sunday, June 07, 2009

    Russia: Poland responsible for WW II

    Russian Defence Ministry has accessed Poland of being responsible for World War II in an article published on its official web site.

    The article was written by Colonel Sergey Kovalov from the Institute of War History at the Russian Defence Ministry and published in a War Encyclopedia under the title “History – against lies and falsification”.

    “Everyone who studies the history of WW II without prejudice knows that the war started because Poland refused to satisfy German claims. However, not everyone knows what exactly Adolf Hitler wanted from Poland. His claims were rather moderate: to incorporate the Free City of Danzig (currently Gdansk) into the Third Reich and to let Germans build exterritorial motorway and a railway [through Poland] which would join East Prussia with the rest of German territory,” writes the Russian historian. In his opinion, “it is hard to regard these claims as unjustified”.

    “Poland aimed at becoming a regional super power and by no means wanted to play the role of a younger partner to Germany. That is why on 26 March 1939 it finally rejected German demands,” argues Kovalov.

    Russia knows better

    The Russian historian also justifies the attack of the USSR on Poland on 17 September 1939. He claims that Josef Stalin had no choice but to sign a non-aggression pact with Hitler in order to postpone, at least in the short term, war with Germany.

    The Russian daily Wriemia Nowostiej has criticized the article published by the Defence Ministry, saying that “the war against falsification of history ‘to the detriment of Russia’, proclaimed by the highest state authorities, is grotesque.”

    The daily ironically predicts that “soon Adolf Hitler will turn out to be an effective manager and East European countries, smashed by Soviet and Nazi ‘effective management’, will be found guilty for getting in their way,” writes Wriemia Nowostiej.

    In May, the President of the Russian Federation, Dmitry Medvedev, created the Committee for the Counteraction against Attempts to Falsify History to the Detriment of Russia. The committee consists of Russian politicians, historians, officials and secret service agents and its goal is to investigate ‘distortions of the historical record’ caused by Polish, Ukrainian, Latvian and Estonian historians.

    The Russian Defence Ministry’s deputy spokesman Aleksandr Petrunin refused to give thenews.pl a commentary on Kovalov’s article.

    Saturday, June 06, 2009

    Bioton announces plan to axe 27% of Polish workforce

    Insulin producer Bioton has officially informed the Labor Office of a plan to carry out mass lay offs from its current workforce of 635. The firm intends to reduce the number of staff by 170 employees with the first redundancies to begin in June.

    "The reductions are the effect of the deteriorating economic situation and the necessity of limiting costs. The firm has to liquidate some jobs," reads Bioton's announcement to the Labor Office. The firm did not provide the anticipated savings it expects to make from the planned move, but analysts are surprised with the scale of redundancies nonetheless.

    "I believe that the firm will incur costs of zl.25 million due to the restructuring of the Polish unit, including the costs of severance packages for employees," said Pawel Burzylski, an analyst with DM BZ WBK. However, according to his calculations the optimization of Bioton's employment level will enable the company to boost its operational result by some zl.11 million in 2010.

    Friday, June 05, 2009

    Bank robbery in Warsaw

    As-yet unidentified thieves successfully robbed a bank in Warsaw’s Mokotow district.

    Spokesperson from Warsaw Police Headquarters announced that two masked and armed men entered the bank at 10:00 on Thursday and demanded all the cash the bank had on hand.

    There were two employees and one client in the bank at the time and none were injured. The employees handed over an unknown sum of cash.

    Currently, police are investigating the crime scene and searching for the robbers.

    Thursday, June 04, 2009

    Polish yacht sinks

    A Polish yacht with a crew of six has sunk in the Baltic on the eastern side of Mon Island, though nobody on board has been hurt.

    The vessel aired SOS signals after water leaking into the hull could not be stopped. Responding to the call, the Danish sea rescue service sent a helicopter and patrol boat from nearby Klintholm to the scene of the accident.

    Two freight ships sailing in the region also offered help. Three crew members of the Polish yacht were picked up by the helicopter team, while the remaining three were taken on board the patrol unit.

    The Polish survivors are reported to be in good condition. The yacht is said to be sunk at a depth of 20 meters.

    Wednesday, June 03, 2009

    Polish Army tenders for maps, loses zl.54 million?

    The state budget might have lost as much as zl.54 million on mapping contracts tendered by the Polish Army.

    After Poland joined NATO in 1999, the military's maps were in need of an update, to bring them up the standards required by the alliance. Between 1998 and 2003, the Army signed zl.54 million worth of contracts with companies to rework its maps.

    According to TVN24, which broke the news, the firms were staffed by family members of high-ranking army officers. The winning bidders, moreover, apparently lacked both the manpower and the know-how to produce the maps, and thus had to outsource the work...to the Polish Army.

    To date, the Prosecutor's Office has charged 17 people in the scandal.

    Tuesday, June 02, 2009

    Investigation into Olewnik’s case starts

    The parliamentary investigative commission looking into the abduction and murder of Krzysztof Olewnik has started interrogating witnesses.

    Elzbieta Gielo from the Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw and Leszek Wawrzyniak from the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Sierpc, central Poland, are testifying today in front of the parliamentary investigative commission. Wawrzyniak directed the investigation of Olewnik’s case in its early stages and is accused of serious negligence in the gathering and investigation of evidence.

    The abduction and a brutal murder of Krzysztof Olewnik, the son of a wealthy businessman, shocked public opinion in Poland. Olewnik was kidnapped in 2001. His family paid 300,000 zlotys ransom but the kidnappers did not set him free. Later, two years after his abduction, Olewnik was tortured and brutally murdered.

    The investigation into the case has been full of mistakes and negligence. Evidence was not secured or analyzed, documents and other evidence were accidentally destroyed. Besides, three men charged with Olewnik’s abduction and murder, Slawomir Kosciuk, Robert Pazik and Wojciech Franiewski, all, mysteriously, committed suicide in prison.

    The family of Krzysztof Olewnik, convinced that the series of bungles and deaths are not a coincidence, and that high-rank politicians may have been involved, called for a parliamentary investigative commission into Olewnik’s abduction and murder.

    Monday, June 01, 2009

    Film producer accused of bribing doctor

    The Prosecutor’s Office in Lodz has accused film producer Lew R. of paying a convicted criminal to bribe doctors so he could avoid a jail sentence.

    Rywin needed the certificate in order to skip an obligatory checkup, which was to assert if he was capable of completing a two-year prison sentence after he was convicted in a corruption case.

    The co-producer of Steven Spielberg’s Schindlers’ List and producer of Roman Polanski’s The Pianist denies the allegation that he offered 400,000 zloty to acquire a false sick note.

    Yesterday he was arrested by the Central Anticorruption Bureau along with nine other people, including his son. The bribery was revealed by middleman Konrad T., a convicted criminal from Warsaw, who decided to cooperate with the Prosecutor’s Office as a crown witness.

    Konrad T. is well-known to Warsaw police. He worked as an insurance agent and delivery man in a lawyer’s office and specialized in supplying criminals with forged medical certificates. In 2007, he helped the Central Investigation Bureau set up prosecutor Krzysztof W. handing him a 300,000 zlotys bribe, which led to the prosecutor’s arrest.

    Lew R. – name detained under Poland’s privacy law - was a key figure in a major corruption scandal in Poland, revealed in 2002. He was charged with seeking a 17,5 million dollar bribe from Agora, the publisher of the leading Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, in exchange for favourable changes to the media law.

    In 2003 Rywin was sentenced to two years in prison and a 100,000 zlotys fine for fraud. In November 2006, he was released on parole.