Special services teams in Poland have reportedly searched the homes of officials from the outgoing Law and Justice Party (PiS) as part of an investigation into the alleged misuse of funds administered by the justice ministry.

As part of the investigation, special services broke into the home of former Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro yesterday and detained four people, three former justice ministry officials and one beneficiary of the funds.

A prosecutor's office spokesperson said today that police searched the room of former Deputy Justice Minister Michal Wos in a parliamentary hotel and his home outside the capital Warsaw. Another house belonging to the family of former Minister Ziobro was also searched, the spokesperson said.

"A show of banditry and lawlessness"

"I have nothing to be accused of, everything was legal when I was running the Justice Fund... I will file a criminal complaint with the prosecutor's office," he said.

Minister Ziobro, who said he was undergoing chemotherapy after surgery for esophageal cancer, also described yesterday's search of his home as "a show of thuggery and lawlessness".

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"All these actions are illegal, they are the implementation of the political orders of (Prime Minister) Donald Tusk and (Justice Minister Adam) Bodnar," Ziobro said, adding that he interrupted his post-operative treatment to come home.

Ziobro is known as the architect of judicial reforms. Opponents criticize the reforms for weakening the independence of the courts. 

Where were the funds spent?

Local media reported that the funds targeted in the alleged misuse of money from the Justice Fund, set up to help victims of crime, were used to curry favor with PiS voters in rural areas, such as buying fire trucks or equipment for housewives' associations.

MPs from the ruling Civic Platform (KO) told reporters that they would ask the electoral commission to investigate whether the funds were used in PiS's election campaign last year.

A former head of the Supreme Audit Office testified before the parliamentary commission on Wednesday that he had evidence that 25 million zlotys ($6.3 million) from the fund was spent on Pegasus spyware, which the new government says was used against some politicians during the PiS era.

The nationalist PiS lost power after eight years in October 2023 to a coalition of pro-European parties led by Donald Tusk's Civic Platform.

The new government says those accused of breaking the law during PiS rule will now answer to prosecutors "free from political influence".