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.