Maciej Wąsik, deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration and deputy coordinator of secret services, lost the trial for violation of personal rights. He accused the Open Dialogue Foundation of connections with Russia, hybrid activities and money laundering, and accused the chairman of the ODF’s Supervisory Board Bartosz Kramek of calling for bloodshed.
The District Court in Warsaw has made a non-final ruling in the personal rights infringement case brought against Wąsik by Bartosz Kramek, Lyudmyla Kozlovska and the Open Dialogue Foundation, which they founded. Activists filed a civil lawsuit after a series of statements by the deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration on the Foundation’s activities.
Wąsik attacks Open Dialogue Foundation
“There are many indications that the Open Dialogue Foundation was too open to funds from non-transparent sources,” Wąsik said in 2018 in the daily newspaper “Gazeta Polska Codziennie”. In 2019, in an interview with Michał Rachoń in TVP Info, he argued that the Foundation “is suspicious”: Under the table or quietly behind the scenes, it was said that these sources of funding were hidden, their activities posed a threat in various parts of Europe. (…) I’d venture to say that this foundation could be called hybrid.
At that time, Wąsik also referred to Kramek’s post in social media, published in the summer of 2017, during protests in defence of the independence of the courts entitled “Let the state stop: let’s switch the government off!”. “He called for a coup, he called for the non-payment of taxes, he took into account the bloodshed,” the deputy minister interpreted this post on TVP Info.
The text from 2017, in which Kramek proposed, on the example of the experience from the Ukrainian Maidan, “how to stop the Law and Justice (PiS) attack on the rule of law in Poland”, brought trouble to the activist. The subordinate PiS services considered it a coup d’état, more control services were sent to the Foundation, and the pro-government media raced against the texts defaming the Open Dialogue Foundation, using, among others, the statements of the deputy head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration.
The Foundation counted in total over 1.5 thousand articles in the right-wing defamatory media slandering Kramek and his wife, Crimean-born Ukrainian woman Lyudmyla Kozlovska.
In 2018, Kozlovska was exiled from Poland. The apogee of actions against Kramek took place in June last year, when he was detained by the ABW as a suspect for certification of untruth regarding services in the amount of PLN 5.3 million. He got out on bail after a month.
20 lawsuits for defamation
A married couple filed 20 lawsuits against politicians and journalists for attacks on the ODF. They concern, among others, Witold Waszczykowski, Joachim Brudziński, Patryk Jaki, Krystyna Pawłowicz, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, Ryszard Czarnecki, Szymon Szynkowski, Dominik Tarczyński, Tomasz Sakiewicz, Witold Gadowski and TVP, Polish Radio and Fratria – the publisher of the PiS related website wPolityce.pl and the weekly “Sieci”. In total, the activists demand almost PLN 1.7 million.