Police detained former Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski and his deputy Maciej Wasik, who were sentenced to 2 years in prison each for "abuse of office" and "inciting corruption", entering the Presidential Palace. Kaminski and Wasik were reportedly detained as President Andrzej Duda met with Belarusian opposition leader Svietlana Tsihanouskaya in the evening.
Poland's Deputy Interior Minister Czeslaw Mroczek confirmed on his X account that Kaminski and his deputy Wasik were detained at the Presidential Palace.
THEY USED THEIR AMNESTY POWERS
Kaminski and his deputy Wasik, the head of Poland's Central Bureau Against Corruption (CBA) between 2007 and 2010, were indicted in the Warsaw District Court on charges of "abuse of office" and "incitement to corruption" for political purposes. In 2015, the court found Kaminski and Wasik guilty and sentenced them to 3 years in prison each.
At the time, the Law and Justice Party (PiS), of which Kaminski and Wasik were members, had come to power. Duda, who was elected as the PiS candidate for the presidency the same year, used his amnesty power to pardon Kaminski and Wasik's prison sentences in March 2016. Kaminski and Wasik continued to serve as deputies in the Polish parliament, with Mariusz Kaminski serving as Minister of Interior and Administrative Affairs and Maciej Wasik as Deputy Minister between 2019 and 2023.
SUPREME COURT RULES 'AMNESTY DECISION INVALID
The Warsaw Prosecutor's Office appealed to the Supreme Court on the grounds that Kaminski and Wasik could not be pardoned by the President until their prison sentences were finalized by a higher court. In June last year, the Polish Supreme Court ruled that the President's pardon power could not be valid in this case and sent the case to the Warsaw District Court.
In its last session on December 20, 2023, the Warsaw District Court sentenced Kaminski and Wasik to two years in prison each for "abuse of office" and "inciting corruption". Since the Warsaw District Court's decision was final, Kaminski and Wasik, who were re-elected as parliamentarians in the October 15, 2023 general elections, were stripped of their parliamentary seats by Szymon Holownia, Speaker of the Sejm, the lower house of parliament, in accordance with the Polish Electoral Code.
POLITICAL REVENGE" COMMENT
While members of the main opposition PiS party claimed that the whole thing was political revenge for the ruling Citizens' Platform (Platforma Obywatelska), President Duda insisted that he had used his constitutional pardon power and pardoned the people in question in 2016.