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.