Convicted former Polish Interior Minister goes on hunger strike, President initiates pardon

Kaminski and Wasik

Polish President Andrzej Duda has announced that he is initiating pardon proceedings in the case of Mariusz Kaminski and Maciej Wąsik. Mr. Duda announced in a special statement that he is initiating pardon proceedings in the case of Mariusz Kaminski and Maciej Wąsik, directing the first steps to the Prosecutor General.

The president made the statement after meeting with the wives of convicted Law and Justice politicians Mariusz Kaminski and Maciej Wąsik.

“The ladies asked me to release them. I said yesterday at a press conference (…) that I will make every effort to return freedom to these gentlemen as soon as possible, so that they will be free people and not political prisoners in a free republic, because this offends its dignity and also offends our international position,” Duda stressed.

Mariusz Kaminski, the former Polish Interior Minister, started a hunger strike by addressing a statement to the Minister of Justice on the first day of his imprisonment. RMF 24 reported this.

Kaminsky said that he considers his conviction and actions to deprive him of his parliamentary mandate to be acts of political revenge. “Therefore, as a political prisoner, from the first day of my imprisonment, I started a hunger strike.

Kaminski demanded the immediate release from prison of all members of the former leadership of the CBA (Central Anti-Corruption Bureau of Poland, Ed.), who were covered by the act of pardon issued in 2015 by the President of the Republic of Poland.

“This is an individual decision of Mariusz Kamiński,” Deputy Minister of Justice Maria Ejchart commented on the politician’s hunger strike.

At the same time, she assured that Mariusz Kamiński and his former deputy, Maciej Wąsik, do not meet the European criteria for being considered political prisoners.

Police detained the politicians of the now-opposition Law and Justice party on Tuesday in the presidential palace where they were staying.

Kaminski and Wąsik received a two-year prison sentence on December 20, 2023, in connection with the so-called land case.

The case concerns the period when Kaminsky was the head of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau and Wąsik was his deputy. The land case concerned unsuccessful attempts by the SBA to prove that the then leader of the Self-Defense and Deputy Prime Minister Andrzej Lepper allegedly took bribes to help with the so-called decontamination of a land plot in the Masurian province.

After the verdict, it was expected that both politicians, who were elected from Law and Justice in the last elections in October, would lose their mandates. But while the verdict was pending appeal, Kaminski and Wąsik attended Sejm sessions and reportedly even took part in voting.

The day before, on Monday, the court rejected the defendants’ petition for reconsideration of the case and approved the order for their transfer to prison.

Photo credit: PAP.PL

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