Sunday, February 28, 2010

Opposition councilors punished with blackout

From: The News
Councilors in Myslowice, southern Poland, will have street lamps turned off in their neighborhood for voting for budget cuts.

The municipal office has already sent a list of streets where lamps are to go out on 1 March to the local energy supplier. The decision was taken by the city mayor Grzegorz Osyra. His spokeswoman, Katarzyna Szymanska, admits that the list corresponds with the addresses of unruly councilors, who endorsed cuts in the budget of the municipal road management office.

“We realize that the councilors do not live on those streets alone. Let the people see whom they have elected,” she told the Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

The municipal council head Bernard Pastuszka, who voted for the austerity budget, says he and his neighbors will manage somehow. But what about the mayor? How long will the people have to tolerate his insane ideas, he wonders.

The mayor of Myslowice is known for his unorthodox initiatives. Among them was a plan to erect a monument to the popular Myslovitz band, which hails from the city. Its musicians refused the honor.

It is not clear how much money will be saved thanks to the selective blackout.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Polish Thugs Rampage

From: NPE
Police made thirteen arrests after Polish fans rioted in Prague before last Saturday’s 2-0 loss against the Czech Republic.

Thousands had made the journey south in the vain hope that Poland could produce a miracle and qualify for South Africa 2010, though second half goals from Tomas Necid and Jaroslav Plasil were enough to put a spoiler on Polish expectations. The atmosphere had already been soured by this point however, and tabloid predictions of crowd trouble proved correct as Polish thugs entered running battles with local cops.

Fireworks and flares were hurled as riot police struggled to contain the aggro, with Polish fans going some distance in cementing their growing reputation as Europe’s biggest morons. Czech police had mounted a two month security operation leading up to the game, with one insider claiming, ‘From a safety point of view, this is the most demanding match our team has seen in years’. Earlier in the year Polish fans hit headlines after rioting in Belfast during their game with Northern Ireland.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hooligan girls beat friend, no one cares

From: NPE
Police in Gorzow reported on a hooligan incident in which four 15-year-old girls assaulted one of their colleagues in broad daylight outside one of the city’s largest shopping malls, and none of the passers by reacted.

The attack took place this Tuesday afternoon when the victim left school followed by two of her attackers, who had planned the whole incident. As their target got to the centre of town, they were joined by two friends of theirs from another school. In the nasty assault that followed outside the Askana mall, the girl was held by two girls while the other two took turns at kicking her and punching her in the face.

Slawomir Konieczny, Gorzow police’s press officer, told reporters from Gazeta Gorzow, “After all, this didn’t happen in the middle of a forest, but by the largest mall in town, on a busy street, 80m from the school. What would people have said if things had turned out any worse?” The case is being investigated by officers from Gorzow police’s new Division of Adolescent Pathology who are noting an increase in such attacks, specifically in attacks by young girls.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Football hooligans arrested

From: NPE
Poznan police have arrested a large number of hooligans connected with organising pitched battles between supporters of various football teams, and at the same time have uncovered evidence of drug-dealing and organised crime.

Sixteen people were arrested in raids carried out by officers of the Central Investigative Office (CBS) following an investigation into the activities of a group of football hooligans, in particular two coordinated fights that took place between the supposed supporters of Lech Poznan and followers of teams from Lubin and Gdansk. Investigations lasting over two years revealed that at times the group took part in such fights day after day. In the raid police found film and photos from these battles, and a wide range of weapons, including machetes, axes, swords, various bludgeons and even a pistol.

Additionally some members of the group were charged with the sale of 90,000 ecstasy tablets and 20kg of marihuana. In total fifty people have been charged so far, some of whom face up to twelve years in prison.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rapid rise in suicides in Poland

From: The News
Last year saw a record number of suicides in Poland.

A total of 4,839 men tried to kill themselves, 3,739 succeeded. Women are less prone to take their own life than men. Last year, 645 of them committed suicide.

The suicide rate is highest among the unemployed, people with a drinking problem or mental disorders and victims of violence at home, police statistics show. Specialists are worried by a rise in suicides among children. Last year, 26 kids below 15 years of age committed suicide, compared with nineteen in 2008.

There is no comprehensive suicide prevention program in place in Poland. “People in a crisis situation have little chance of getting professional help. Suicides can be prevented, the snag is they are still regarded as a taboo,” says Professor Brunon Holyst, President of the Polish Suicide Study Society.

“People who think of ending it all tend to look for help on the web. There, they come across pages with instructions on how to commit suicide faster than they find professional advice,” says Holyst.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Polish premier testifies at lobbying commission

From: Earth Times
Mariusz Kaminski
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Thursday told a commission investigating a recent gambling lobby scandal that he had "limited trust" in the former head of the country's anti-corruption bureau and that the bureau was politically motivated. Poland's Central Anti-Corruption Bureau was investigating the alleged lobbying in an operation code-named Blackjack.

Tusk later dismissed Mariusz Kaminski, the head of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau, amid charges the official overstepped his powers during an unrelated investigation in 2007.

At the commission Thursday, Tusk said the anti-corruption bureau seemed to carry out investigations for political reasons, or "for a spectacle, or to prove a certain hypothesis."

The parliamentary commission was established in November and includes seven members of parliament.

Tusk is facing allegations that members of his Civic Platform party lobbied on behalf of gambling companies in a scandal that has marred his party's image months before the fall elections. Last week, Tusk announced he would not seek the country's presidency and would instead focus on improving Poland's economic performance.

The gambling scandal saw four top politicians depart on October 7 amid reports that politicians lobbied to block provisions in a bill that would have raised taxes the gambling industry pays to the state.

Tusk accepted resignations in October from the justice minister, deputy economy minister and deputy prime minister in connection with the gambling scandal.

Tusk told the commission Thursday that during their meeting in August on the investigation of alleged lobbying, Kaminski spoke "not of crimes being committed, but of unfortunate events." Tusk said the politicians' behavior then raised suspicion, but were not illegal.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Poland’s Former Deputy PM Gets Prison Sentence in Sex Scandal

From: WSJ
Former Polish Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Andrzej Lepper
In Poland’s conflict-ridden years of 2005-2007 when the previous government had to resort to support from populists and nationalists to pass legislation, a simple farmer with a criminal record was made a deputy prime minister to secure parliamentary backing behind the conservative minority.

Now that simple farmer is on his way to prison for demanding sexual favors from female colleagues in his party.

Andrzej Lepper has always been the enfant terrible of the Polish political scene, known mostly for his road blockages. Many thought he was unelectable to any public office until 2001 when, amid massive dissatisfaction with sky-high unemployment at the time, his Self-Defense party and the far-right League of Polish Families won seats in Parliament.

It wasn’t before 2005 that Lepper felt he was finally someone important. His party’s support was instrumental for the largest conservative grouping in Parliament that lacked majority to govern. In 2006, he was finally made a deputy prime minister.

Because of his rowdy past, in 2007 he had had more than 100 criminal and civil lawsuits and six sentences against him. Many of his party colleagues had a similar past.

So when in late 2006 a newspaper alleged Lepper demanded sexual favors in return for party jobs, it wasn’t his first criminal case and it wouldn’t be the last. He was finally kicked out of the government amid a corruption scandal the following year before his party failed to get any seats or public funding in the 2007 election, leaving him completely sidelined.

And now this latest criminal sentence, even though it can be and will be appealed, is somewhat of a wooden stake right through Lepper’s political heart. Two years and three months in prison — that’s pretty bad.

That he’s not being missed must be much worse to Lepper who for six years of his life considered himself important.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Explosion Levels a House in Poland

From: WYTV
There is nothing left of the home which used to sit at 2816 Center Road, after a suspected gas leak caused the house to explode Saturday morning.

"It was very loud, it was a loud bang, it was very fast.", says Cheryl Solic, who witnessed the explosion from her home next-door.

"We immediately had fire throughout the house, and within a very short period of time, the entire front of the house collapsed.", says Fire Chief David Comstock, Jr., Western Reserve Joint Fire District.

When the first crews got on scene they opened the front door to the home and immediately smelled gas. That's when they shut the door and say the home exploded, literally blowing firefighters away from the house and into the snow bank, trapping a few of them underneath the porch, which collapsed.

A handful of firefighters were taken to the hospital with minor injuries from battling the blaze, and being trapped under the debris. Chief Comstock says,

"Three were released, two are still being evaluated but they were very fortunate, I have to say the Lord was looking down on them, because it could have been very serious."

Luckily, no one was inside the home when it blew up. Neighbors say the family who lived there had trouble with their furnace earlier in the week, and reported a possible gas leak to Dominion East Ohio. Apparently they had come back to check on their home right before it exploded.

"The mother and daughter of the home were very distraught, they were in a car over here, and of course they were very upset, crying and watching their whole house, and their whole life go up in flames.", says Solic.

We're told the family is staying with relatives. Neighbors say someone from the city or county called to let them know about the leak, and told them to get away from the house minutes before the explosion.

Solic says the situation wasn't handled well-- especially since Dominion knew there was a gas leak in the home days ago.

"Somebody dropped the ball somewhere with notifying other neighbors that there was a gas problem over here.", says Solic.

Fire crews spent the rest of the morning dousing flames and smoke. The Chief says gas is the primary suspect, and the home is a total loss. The State Fire Marshal's Office and local Metro Arson Strike Force continue to investigate.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Polish police recover stolen US blood plasma

From: AP
The straw-colored fluid in which blood cells are suspended. It makes up about 55% of blood by volume and is composed of approximately 92% water, 6–8% serum proteins, 0.8% salts, 0.6% lipids, and 0.1% glucose (blood sugar). Plasma transports materials needed by cells and materials that must be removed from cells, including various ions (Na+, Ca2+, HCO3-, etc), glucose and traces of other sugars, amino acids, other organic acids, cholesterol and other lipids, hormones, and urea and other wastes.
Polish police recovered 11 tons of human blood plasma that had been stolen from a U.S. company and was on its way to Austria, officials said Thursday.

The truck with a freezer unit carrying the plasma, worth more than euro1 million ($1.4 million), was stolen while the driver made a rest stop in Germany, Polish police spokesman Artur Chorazy said. It was taken across the border into Poland, where it was seized on Wednesday.

Police footage showed frozen salmon-colored plasma packed in boxes originating from Harrisonburg, Virginia, where BioLife Plasma Services, a collection facility owned by Baxter International Inc., has operations.

BioLife spokeswoman Laura Jacobs said the plasma had come from other facilities as well, but did not elaborate.

Jacobs said the company was working with local authorities to determine how the theft occurred. "Importantly, the plasma has been recovered and is currently in Baxter's Vienna facility," she said.

Polish police have made no arrests so far, and believe thieves stole it in hopes of selling it elsewhere in Eastern Europe, Chorazy said.

Plasma is used to treat a wide variety of medical disorders

Friday, February 19, 2010

Farmer poses as gynaecologist

From: NPE
Farmer wandered through corridors for two years
A farmer from Szczecin has appeared in court after posing as a gynaecologist.

Donning a white coat and stethoscope, the 45-year old wandered hospital corridors administering examinations for two years.

Police believe that he wasn’t acting alone and at least one other person was in on the scam.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Pole pries prostitutes pretending to be policeman

From: NPE
A 33-year-old resident of Gostynin was arrested this week for impersonating a police officer and using a fake police badge to acquire sexual services from prostitutes. In a modus operandi that repeated itself precisely dozens of times, the man carefully selected prostitutes from local papers that were offering services from their own homes.

He would arrive at the doorstep then flash the silver badge at them and announce that there was an investigation concerning an infection with HIV which would lead to a lot of trouble for the prostitute, making it impossible for her to work for several months. He then suggested that he could be persuaded to keep a secret if the woman had sex with him. If the woman still resisted, he threatened to make the nature of her work public.

The badge he used was a plastic toy of the kind readily available from any toy shop and even had the word ‘Police’ written on it in English, not Polish. But most of his victims didn’t look closely enough at the flashing badge in a black wallet. So far police have found eight women who were cheated in this way, but they do not exclude the possibility that further cases will be found. The man, who lives in Gostynin and works in Plock, and is in a steady relationship, was taken completely by surprise. He was even carrying the fake plastic police badge when arrested by Plock officers. The man faces up to ten years in prison.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

4 (more) footballers charged for corruption

From: The News
The District Court in the western city of Wroclaw has sentenced four former football players to 12-20 months in prison for fixing matches.

Two former Polar Wroclaw FC players, Tomasz R. and Jacek S., former Slask Wroclaw FC player and former Zaglebie Lubin FC player, Zbigniew M., are accused of taking and giving bribes as well as encouraging other football players to cheat on the football pitch.

Two Polar Wroclaw footballers had already been sentenced previously to four months in prison, but the Court of Appeals in Wroclaw increased the punishment to one year. The other footballers pleaded innocent in 2008 but were detained again in 2009 on different corruption charges.

Over 300 people throughout Poland – players, referees, officials and members of the Football Federation (PZPN) – have been charged so far for being involved in match fixing schemes.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Military students execute colleague

From: NPE
Michal P. gets 25 years for executing friend
A military recruit has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for organising and overseeing the execution of a fellow student.

Michal P. (20), and two friends from a military school in Zlotoryja murdered fellow colleague Maciej Witkowski three years ago.

The four boys, all students at the same institution, were believed to have been members of a secretive German-Polish association known as Dragon, which specialised in martial arts.

Police originally received notification that Witkowski was missing in January 2007, although the only information was that the last people he was seen with were Michal P. and Mark A. Both however, denied knowing any details which would aid the investigation.

Following a three month search, authorities were alerted to a grave-like trench on the Zlotoryja mountain slopes from a member of the public.

Upon further investigation, they discovered the corpse of Witkowski, his hands and feet tied and his throat slit.

An autopsy revealed that the victim had not tried to defend himself and that he had died on his knees in the pre-dug grave.

Police now believe that at the time Witkowski was lured to the site under the false pretence that it was all part of a exercise and that he had no idea he would end up dead.

Upon hearing the verdict, Michal P. told reporters “I have no remorse.”

“This is a person who gets pleasure from the bullying and humiliation of other people,” said one psychological expert. “This gives him a sense of domination over another human being.”

Monday, February 15, 2010

Paedo returns to terrorise family

From: NPE
Locked for sexual abuse, paedophile vows to return
A mother and daughter are living in fear after a former paedophile, who sexually abused the daughter, has threatened to return to the town where they both live.

For the last two years, the ex-wife of convicted paedophile Slawomir M., and their abused child Marta have been trying to put the past behind them and move on in their lives, in the town of Mirsk.

But all of this may soon be in vain, as the pervert husband, who was released from prison after serving his sentence earlier this week, has vowed to return back.

Marta was one year-old when her mum and step-dad first met, but as she grew older her he began to abuse her.

According to evidence, this lasted for approximately two years.

“I'm afraid for my daughter. I do not want her to have to go through everything again” says Renata.

“He has constantly threatened us, even from behind bars. And now that he has been released, I know that he will come here to our house at some point.

“The other problem is that his whole family lives in the town and they have also threatened us. I’m afraid for us both, especially afraid for my daughter.”

But the police are aware of the situation and have already made preparations to combat any potential trouble.

“Authorities will go to the family and explain thorough instructions on what to do if an emergency arises,” says Marek Madeksza a police spokesman.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Rapist wants presidential pardon

From: NPE
Tomczak was convicted of rape in 2007
The family of a Polish man serving a double life sentence in England for rape and grievous bodily harm have requested that President Lech Kaczynski asks the British legal authorities for a pardon.

The president’s office confirmed that it had received an official request for pardon on behalf of Jakub Tomczak, and that it would pass it on to the attorney-general for England and Wales. His family has also started a petition, which now boasts over 6,500 signatures, calling for his release.

In 2007, Tomczak was convicted in the English city of Exeter of a sexual assault on a 48-year-old woman that left his victim with permanent brain damage. On the night of the attack in July 2006 police found the woman in a car park, naked and with a cracked skull that erased her memory of the assault.
But despite the jury returning an 11-1 verdict and strong DNA evidence, Tomczak’s family contest the conviction.

“First of all, the injured party worked for the local police, and her husband is a policeman, which must have affected the attitude of the court and the public,” said Krzysztof Czeszejko-Sochacki, a lawyer working for the Tomczak family.

At the time many in the UK’s Polish community doubted that Tomczak, a grade-A law student who had travelled to Exeter to work in a hotel during the summer holidays, would receive a fair trial in the city, owing to an apparent campaign in the press to secure his conviction.

Along with fears that the trial was prejudiced, Tomczak’s legal team have also raised concerns over the DNA evidence that played a key role in the case.

Although DNA evidence found on the victim and Tomczak matched, the Pole’s legal team point out that the first sample taken by police was discarded after contamination, and the same fate also befell a second sample owing to a technical problem in computer software.

It was only at the third attempt that police managed to find a match.

The family’s lawyer also argue that other evidence used to secure the 25-yearold’s conviction was circumstantial, and that CCTV footage taken of man close to the victim appeared to show somebody dressed differently to Tomczak.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sharp rise in Poland’s unemployment rate

From: The News
Jobless rate in Poland increased sharply last , reaching 12.8 percent in January, according to a preliminary report by the Labour Ministry.

The rate rose by 0.9 percent from December 2009 and is the highest since in Poland May 2007 when it reached 13 percent.

Labour Minister Jolanta Fedak thinks that the numbers are not too disturbing, however. "The rise in unemployment is seasonal. It's difficult to judge now [if the trend will remain]. We need to wait until the spring to find out," Fedak said.

Many economists are surprised at the sharp rise, however, expecting 12.5 percent.

Unemployment benefits have increased increased since the beginning of the year. Poles who register at the employment office can now receive 717 zloty (178 euro), which is 142 zloty (35 euro) more than last year.

Labour market analysts predict that the upcoming months will bring further unemployment growth.

The official data on unemployment from the Main Statistical Office are expected at the end of February.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pole jailed for fathering sons with his daughter

From: Irish Times
Krzysztof Bartoszuk (47), who was found guilty this week of raping his daughter over six years.
A POLISH man who imprisoned his daughter for six years, raping her repeatedly and fathering her two sons, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

A court in the eastern Polish city of Bialystok found Krzysztof Bartoszuk (47) guilty of rape, sex with a minor, and physical and psychological abuse.

Bartoszuk was arrested in September 2008 near the border with Belarus after police received complaints from his wife, Teressa, and his daughter, Alicja.

Alicja, now 22, said she was 14 when her father first raped her, calling her “my little prostitute”.

He kept her locked in a room with no door handle, visiting her only to rape her, and allowing her out of the room only to give birth to two boys, in 2005 and 2007.

“He kept telling me I was a prostitute, and that was why I deserved what he was doing to me. And that was how I felt,” she told a Polish newspaper yesterday.

Polish media have dubbed Bartoszuk the “Polish Fritzl”, a nod to Austrian Josef Fritzl, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for imprisoning his daughter Elisabeth for 24 years and fathering her six children.

Alicja Bartoszuk gave birth twice in the six years, but her father put pressure on her to give the two boys up for adoption.

The Bartoszuk family lived in a run-down house in rural north-east Poland and avoided contact with locals.

Teressa Bartoszuk said she was aware of the abuse but felt helpless to intervene.

“I am so sorry that I was not able to protect my daughter,” she told Polish media.

“Even before the first rape I noticed how he touched her where a father shouldn’t. But he said, ‘I have a right to her’, as if she was an object for him.”

Bartoszuk controlled his family by fear, telling his wife and daughter he would kill either of them if they told of what went on in their house.

The polish state prosecutor had sought a 15-year sentence, arguing that Bartoszuk displayed extreme cruelty and unusual violence to his daughter. But the court was of the view that these offences were limited to threats.

“He would threaten to kill his daughter, or say she provoked him into [having] sex,” said a court spokesperson. “But he didn’t use violence as such. She was intimated by his threats and in the end did not protest, though she never gave her consent.”

Bartoszuk plans to appeal the verdict.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Top 10 most wanted cars by Polish thieves

From: The News
Car thieves still can’t resist a Polish made Fiat - that’s the surprising conclusion of a new police report.

Almost 17,000 cars were stolen in Poland last year. Most of them were German and Japanese vehicles but the good-old Polish Fiat was also a target of thieves in Poland.

According to police, Polish thieves stole mainly Volkswagen Passat and Golf - over 3,000 of them, in fact, Audi A4 and A6 - almost 1,000 - then Skoda Oktavia and Toyota Corolla.

“Surprisingly, the Polish Fiat 126p is still popular loot of Polish thieves, who strip it down it and sell the parts,” says Agnieszka Hamelusz from the Police Headquarters.

Ford Focus and Escort and Toyota Avensis were also frequently stolen.

Police claim that cars are usually stolen by professional thieves, who specialize in stealing a particular make of car.

Theft, however, is becoming more high tech the further up the quality chain you go. In order to steal brand new and luxurious cars thieves usually hack onboard computers or jam alarm systems, rarely stealing car keys or breaking windows.

And insurance scams are growing in number. “Recently more and more people report a car theft in order to wheedle money from insurance companies,” says Hamelusz.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Polish bishop apologizes for Holocaust interview

From: The News
Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek has apologized to the Italian Catholic web site for having accused it of misquoting him saying that the Holocaust was a “Jewish invention”.

“I was wrong to suggest that the interview which I gave to Mr. Bruno Volpe for [published on 25 January] was misquoted by him," wrote one of Poland’s most prominent religious figures. Bishop Pieronek explained that he accused the Italian journalist of having manipulated his remarks before actually checking the interview on

The Polish bishop admitted that in the interview for the Italian web site - which caused outrage among some in Israel and the wider Jewish community - he did say that the “Shoah was a Jewish invention,”and that his choice of words was very unfortunate. But they doe not represent his views on Holocaust, he said.

“What I meant was that the word “Shoah" was a Jewish invention used by a renowned American-Jewish writer and Nobel Prize winner Elie Wiesel. Holocaust, a horrendous genocide, was, in fact, invented and carried out by the Nazi Germany," wrote the bishop.

Pieronek also apologized to “I apologize to Mr. Volpe and everyone who felt offended by my unintentionally misfortunate statement. I had no intention to falsify history or accuse anyone of ill will.”

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Polish homeless shack up in Brussels

From: The News
A dozen homeless people from central and eastern Europe, including some from Poland have been camping in a covered passageway in the centre of Brussels for several months now.

They do not want any help and prefer to be left alone but their presence in the little-used arcade has already attracted the attention of the local media and law enforcement bodies. The police have tried twice to liquidate the makeshift ‘village’ but the homeless refused to move.

In an effort to escape rain and cold, they set up camp in a passageway linking two small streets in the center of the Belgian capital. The homeless sleep, rest, smoke and drink alcohol lying on neatly made beds of blankets and sleeping bags.

“We don’t need anything, all we need is to be left alone,” – a Polish woman, who has been living in the passageway for several months now, told the Polish news agency PAP. She said there are Poles in the group, but also Czechs and citizens of former Soviet republics. She refused to say what brought her to Belgium in the first place.

Some locals though want the homeless immigrants to leave. “They are nice, they say hello and behave quietly, but they should not be here,” a street cleaner said, adding that the city authorities should provide a toilet for the homeless.

A cashier from a nearby supermarket looks on at the homeless with pity.

“They sometimes come here with small amounts of cash but they never buy food, only alcohol. They are young, poor people who simply did not make it… We have no problems with them, they don’t steal, we don’t mind their presence, but it’s too bad that they don’t eat and have nowhere to go to wash themselves,” the cashier said.

Some customers buy food for the homeless in the supermarket. Others bring them bread and soup.

An estimated 100,000 Poles live in Belgium.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Yanukovich claims ‘Polish interference’ in Ukraine election planned

From: The News
Ukraine presidential candidate Victor Yanukovych vows that “fighters” from Poland, Lithuania and Georgia planning to disrupt the second round of the presidential elections will be repelled.

In an astonishing outburst in the week leading up to the second round of the Ukrainian presidential elections, Yanukovich was quoted by Interfax, Monday, as saying: “We have been informed that so-called election monitors from Poland and Lithuania are on their way to Ukraine. Several boats from Georgia are also coming to Odessa.”

Yanukovich, leader of the party of the Regions who won the first round of the presidential election on January 17, and is going head-to-head with Yulia Tymoshenko is the second round on Sunday, said that outside influences were trying to interfere with the ballot at the invitation of his rival.

“It’s obvious that these are fighters who are coming to Ukraine to help Tymoshenko,” said Yanukovych.

Yanukovich – who gains most of his support from Russian speaking Ukrainians in the east of the country and is in favour of closer ties with Russia - added that the Ukrainian boarder guards, security service and Defence Ministry were informed about the alleged threat. Yanukovych warned that if the authorities do not act against the intruders, the Party of Regions will mobilize its forces to fight against them.

“We’re going to show them what it means to be Ukrainian,” said Yanukovych.

During the ballot on 17 January almost 2,000 Georgians came to eastern Ukraine and tried to register as election monitors. However, the Central Electoral Committee rejected their request. Yanukovych then accused Yulia Tymoshenko of hiring mercenaries sent by Georgia’s president Mikheil Saakashvili to destabilize the country.

In the first round of the presidential elections, Victor Yanukovych received 35.32 percent of votes and Yulia Tymoshenko 25.05 percent. Over 3,000 people from countries other than Georgia participated in the first round of the Ukrainian elections as election monitors.

Yanukovich’s election as president in 2004 led to widespread street protests in what came to be known as the Orange Revolution, amid accusations of vote-rigging. The election was subsequently re-run and won by Viktor Yushchenko.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Illegal workers face deportation

A group of almost 60 foreigners have been taken into custody for working illegally in Lubin, south-west Poland.

The State Border Guard in the region interrogated 55 Ukrainians, 2 Moldovans and a Belarusian. All had permission to be in the country, and even had work permits.

However, the blame rests with the employer, who did not register them and allowed them to work two to three weeks before the dates set by the foreigners’ visas.

The group has been given a week to leave Polish territory, and will not be allowed to return to Poland for a year. The Border Guard has submitted a request to the courts for the fining of the employer who allowed the foreigners to work illegally.
  • Note: It's true: Poland screws you every time
  • Saturday, February 06, 2010

    Jailed Polish rapist in assassination bid

    A FORMER Polish soldier who was jailed on Friday for a vicious sexual attack on a woman tried to have her and her partner killed while he was in prison awaiting trial.

    Edward Piotrowski, 45, made two unsuccessful approaches to would-be assassins to whom he offered money in return for killing his victims in advance of his trial for rape and false imprisonment.

    Gardai averted the murder plot after it leaked back to detectives.

    Details of the ferocious attack on the couple were so shocking that Mr Justice Peter Charlton branded it the worst he had encountered in his career, before passing one of the harshest sentences for rape ever handed down in an Irish court.

    Piotrowski received five life terms. The judge said it was his intention that the former soldier would never be released.

    Piotrowski moved to Ireland in 2005 and worked as a mechanic in Edenderry, Co Offaly. He was said to be jealous of the woman's new relationship and wanted to kill both her and her partner.

    Their nightmare began when Piotrowski broke into the couple's home in November 2007.

    In her statement, she said she awoke suddenly when she was hit in the head. When she turned on the light she saw a man in a balaclava standing at the bed, attacking her boyfriend.

    She instantly recognised her assailant and pleaded with him to stop.

    With his identity blown, Piotrowski threatened to kill them both. He bound her partner with duct tape and slashed him 10 times with a knife. Then he raped and sexually assaulted her.

    He told them he planned to kill both of them, but that he would make it look like her boyfriend had killed her and then took his own life.

    He eventually agreed to leave when she promised him she would not report the attack. After he had gone, they called the police.

    When Piotrowski returned to his house at around 10.30am, gardai were already there and he was arrested.

    When his car was searched, gardai found night-vision glasses, an electro-shock weapon, a knife, a baton and a map of the town with a purple dot marking the victim's house.

    Piotrowski denied that he had been anywhere near the victims. However during his interrogation, Inspector Pat Murray, who led the investigation, noticed a tiny spot of blood on his left ear.

    The blood turned out to be that of his female victim.

    Despite the care he took to cover his tracks, Piotrowski's DNA was also found on a carton of orange juice in his victims' house.

    Piotrowski had prepared for the attack with chilling attention to detail.

    He broke into the house using a key he had already cut. He carried a rucksack, containing rope and duct tape. He wore a balaclava and blue plastic covers on feet to conceal his footprints.

    After leaving the house, he burned his clothes and other materials linking him to the attack.

    Despite the suspicions raised by this advance planning, Piotrowski had no criminal record, here or in his native Poland, where he had served in the army for two years.

    The impact of the attack continues to reverberate with his victims. Gardai have put protection measures in place, since learning of Piotrowski's plot to kill his victims while awaiting trial. The woman's parents have also received threats.

    The attack was described as "insane" and "horrible" by the judge on Friday.

    But the Rape Crisis Network questioned why Piotrowski was allowed to serve his five life sentences simultaneously, rather than consecutively, which would ensure a lifetime behind bars.

    Friday, February 05, 2010

    Scandal of Polish convict who raped girl after being allowed into the country

    From: Daily Gazette
    Slawomir Blasiak
    A RAPIST should never have been allowed out of his native Poland to commit his brutal crime, the Gazette can reveal.

    Slawomir Blasiak raped a 15-year-old girl after he found her contemplating suicide at a Colchester car park.

    However, he should never have been allowed into the UK, as he was a convicted robber who was on the run from police.

    The incident happened in May, 2008, and since then the 43-year-old Polish national, who was living in Sittang Close, Colchester, repeatedly denied the attack.

    The court heard the girl, who had been staying in a children’s home, was going to cut her wrists and throw herself from a high wall onto a car park when Blasiak started talking to her. He then attacked her.

    In court, his victim was forced to relive her ordeal via video link, being subjected to cross-examination by the defence lawyers.

    Last month, a jury found him guilty of rape and four counts of sexual activity with a child.

    Blasiak has now been given an indeterminate prison sentence for the public’s protection, meaning he will not be released until he is no longer a danger.

    Even then, Blasiak will not be allowed to return to his home in Colchester, but will be deported.

    Meanwhile, it has emerged Blasiak should never have been able to commit the crime. He was already a known violent offender, after spending time in prison in Poland for robbery.

    He was released from prison early, and was on licence when he was due to stand trial for a second robbery in the country.

    Instead, he fled, managing to pass through both Polish and UK border checks without his violent past being flagged up.

    It was only after Blasiak was in custody in Colchester in connection with the rape, that detectives were told about the outstanding European Arrest Warrant against him.

    Det Con Tim Harris, from Colchester CID, said: “It wasn’t until he was in custody and we started making inquiries with Interpol in Warsaw that we discovered his past.

    “He also uses a number of aliases, which made it more difficult.”

    Gail Adams, UK Border Agency regional director for the Midlands and East, said: “This was an appalling crime and my thoughts are with the victim.

    “The UK Border Agency Watchlist contains certain details of overseas criminal convictions, only where this information has been made available by the individual’s country of origin.

    “By the time Interpol advised the UK Border Agency of the arrest warrant for Blasiak – relating to a robbery in Poland – he was already in police custody in connection with the offence for which he has now been jailed.

    “The UK Border Agency will seek to deport Blasiak upon completion of his sentence.”

    Lindsey Read, manager of Colchester’s Centre for Action on Rape and Abuse, said it seemed the victim’s ordeal could have been avoided.

    She said: “If the authorities in Poland had done their job properly, this man wouldn’t have been in the country, so could not have committed this rape. It is absolutely horrendous and heads should roll in Poland for that.”

    Ms Read feels for the teenage victim of the horrific crime. She added: “He pleaded not guilty as well, which put her through an even more horrific ordeal.”

    Thursday, February 04, 2010

    Police detain 120 in Polish pedophilia sting

    From: Earthtimes
    Some 120 people were detained on Thursday on suspicion of owning and distributing internet child pornography, Polish National Police said. Police across Poland in total secured 112 computers, 47 hard disks and nearly 7,500 CDs and DVDs in the nation-wide Operation Roxane, according to a police statement.

    The operation launched in Radom, central Poland, after local police there found some 100 IP addresses of users suspected of owning or distributing child pornography on the internet.

    The police launched the operation at before dawn Thursday throughout the country. The suspects face up to 8 years in prison if convicted.

    Poland's national police conducted eight such operations last year and detained 473 people, officials said.

    Wednesday, February 03, 2010

    Polish mayor nicked for torture and murder

    From: NPE
    Police have arrested and charged a former mayor of Zabrze with torture and murder.

    The ex-town chief, known only as Jerzy G. owing to reporting restrictions, was picked up following an investigation after a man’s body was found in some local woods in August 2008.

    “Last Thursday and Friday charges were brought against three people,” said Marta Zawada-Dybek from district prosecutor's office in Katowice. “Two were detained while the third was already in detention.

    “The body of the victim was bound and covered with leaves,” she added. “There were visible signs of torture. Analysis showed that he had died from wounds inflicted to the neck.”

    The victim, who was also missing an ear, was Lech Frydrychowski, a 34-year-old lawyer from Zabrze.

    According to prosecutors, the murderers had planned to bury Frydrychowski’s battered corpse but, after being unsettled by a noise, left the body covered by just a few branches.

    Investigators assert that 62-year-old Jerzy G., who was the Silesian town’s mayor from 2002 to 2005, had, along with two accomplices, killed Frydrychowski after the man had demanded the repayment of a PLN-246,000 loan he had given the local politician.

    In a twisting story it turned out that the mayor, at one point, had accused Frydrychowski of trying to blackmail him but during the following investigation it was revealed that Jerzy G. had provided false testimony.

    The grisly murder and the arrest of the former mayor have shocked the small town.

    Many in Zabrze have struggled to associate Jerzy G, who is a member of the Polish Academy of Science, and a university lecturer, with the brutal murder of Frydrychowski.

    “He was a trustworthy, understanding and warm man, devoted to his family and two daughters,” one of Jerzy G’s former colleagues told a newspaper.

    Jan Chojnacki, an ex-colleague from the Democratic Left Alliance, the party the Jerzy G. once belonged to, also praised the man’s good character.

    “He was not a member of our party, but he knew foreign languages, was a doctor, and had a good reputation,” he said.

    But it turns out that along with the legal problems stemming from the alleged lies he told about Frydrychowski the former mayor also had problems with the tax authorities.

    Tuesday, February 02, 2010

    Who's lying in Krzysztof Olewnik's grave?

    From: NPE
    Sister breaks down in tears as traumatic case takes another turn
    One of the most tragic and controversial criminal cases in post-communist Poland has been turned upside down after allegations surfaced that the body presumed to be that of a murder victim may in fact be someone else’s.

    Gdansk prosecutors have agreed to a request from the family of Krzysztof Olewnik for an exhumation to see whether the body lying in a cemetery near Plock is that of the 27-year-old businessman.

    Olewnik was kidnapped in 2001, held for ransom, tortured and murdered despite his family paying a ransom of EUR 300,000. Following a witness statement a body, presumed to that of victim’s, was recovered from woodland near Olsztyn in 2006.

    But now it turns out that the authorities in charge of the corpse may not have carried out all the procedures necessary to confirm identification, and the fact that prosecutors have agreed to the exhumation is regarded as confirmation that there are serious doubts over the identity.

    “We need to be sure that we are lighting candles on our son’s grave,” said Wlodzimierz Olewnik, Krzysztof’s father. “We are trying to avoid thinking about what if it turns out not to be him. At the moment we are in shock, and do not know what to do with ourselves. We asked for an exhumation of the body as soon as we heard about the doubts.”

    Along with heaping more anguish on the Olewnik family, legal experts have pointed that the decision to exhume casts doubts doubt over the guilt of a number of individuals now serving gaol sentences for Olewnik’s abduction and murder.

    “This will be an earthquake for the Polish justice system,” said Professor Piotr Kruszynski from Warsaw University. “I was amazed and surprised by the news of plans to exhume Krzysztof Olewnik because it could mean that a person was unjustly and unfairly sentenced to life in prison.”

    Experts have said that the chances of the body being that of Olewnik’s are 50 per cent, and that there is even a 5 per cent chance that he is still alive.

    The Olewnik family has always maintained that their son’s killers had protection from high-placed political figures, and the case is now the subject of a parliamentary enquiry.

    Monday, February 01, 2010

    Holocaust was a Jewish invention, says top Polish bishop

    From: The News
    Bishop Tadeusz Pieronek, one of Poland’s most prominent religious figures, is reported to have told an Italian Catholic news web site that the Holocaust was a "Jewish invention". The bishop says his remarks were “taken out of context” however.

    "The Holocaust, as such, is a Jewish invention [invenzione ebraica]. We could just as well establish a day of remembrance to the numerous victims of communism, when Catholics and Christians were persecuted," he told the Pontifex.Roma web site on Sunday.

    In remarks that will outrage Jews the world over, Bishop Pieronek said that in his opinion the memory of the Holocaust is often used as a “propaganda weapon” by Israel.

    The Krakow-based bishop said: “Undoubtedly, the majority of those who died in the concentration camps were Jews, but also on the list were Poles, Gypsies, Italians and Catholics. So do not steal this tragedy in the name of propaganda.”

    “But they, the Jews, have a good press, because the powerful have the financial resources - extremely powerful with the unconditional support of the United States. And this promotes a kind of arrogance, which I consider to be unbearable,” Bishop Pieronek continued.

    The bishop expressed his opinion that the Palestinians are victims of injustice at the hands of the Israelis.

    “Seeing the photographs of the [Gaza] wall we can conclude that a colossal injustice has been committed against the Palestinians, who are treated like animals and their rights are being violated.”

    “Let them establish [the international lobby] a Memorial Day for them also.”

    Out of context

    Bishop Pieronek, however, says the interview printed on the Italian web site bares little resemblance to the one that he gave the journalist.

    “I have not seen the printed text of the interview, which I have given but have not authorized. But if I were to believe in what I hear from the media then it looks as though the final form of the interview was the idea of the journalist that I had spoken to, as the text is full of vague statements."

    The controversy comes Just two days before Holocaust remembrance Day on January 27 and prime minister of Israel Benyamin Netanyahu’s visit to Poland for the 65 anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.