‘I, Dominik Tarczyński, apologise to Lyudmyla Kozlovska for infringement of her dignity and good name and to the Open Dialogue Foundation in Warsaw (Registration no. (KRS): 0000353754) for damage to its reputation and good name by disseminating damaging and untrue information about their participation in laundering of money coming from Russia during my appearance in the Deutsche Welle programme «Conflict Zone»’ – this is the wording of the apology which is to be posted on the Twitter profile by Law and Justice MEP Dominik Tarczyński. The defamation judgment against him and in favour of Lyudmyla Kozlovska and the Open Dialogue Foundation has just been delivered by the Regional Court (Sąd Okręgowy) in Warsaw.Download court's decision
The judgment in the court of the first instance, which ordered Tarczyński to sign his apology and keep it published for 60 days, was issued on 28 July 2022. The judgment was given in connection with this statement: ‘When you don’t know what it’s about, well, then it’s about money, and very big money flowing from pro-Russian circles. It should be kept in mind that this foundation was scrutinized by the Internal Security Agency a long time ago and then there was a loud outcry that civil rights were under threat in Poland – and by saying «everyone» I mean the total opposition’. Dominik Tarczyński was sued by the head of the ODF three years ago for these words.
The Law and Justice MEP’s statement is part of the massive campaign against the ODF, Lyudmyla Kozlovska and her husband Bartosz Kramek who is the Head of the Foundation Board, launched by the ruling party and continued since 2017. Last week, the Deputy Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration (MSWiA) and Deputy Coordinator of Secret Services Maciej Wąsik lost a lawsuit for infringement of personal rights. Maciej Wąsik alleged that the Foundation had connections with Russia and conducted hybrid and money laundering activities; he also accused Bartosz Kramek of calling for bloodshed. The Foundation is now awaiting further court decisions. ‘These lawsuits are important to us, but time-consuming and costly. The scale of the attack on us was so massive that we could have done nothing else but keep suing more and more slanderers. And, after all, we must not neglect the ongoing activities of the Foundation’ said the Head of the ODF Board.
The judgment on the ODF & Kozlovska case against Dominik Tarczynski was also commented by Public Prosecutor Ewa Wrzosek: ‘The slander against the Open Dialogue Foundation is not only a violation of the good name of this foundation. It is an institutionalised outburst of hate by those in power aimed at freezing all those who engage in cooperation with similar organisations that are troublesome for the government. That is why these verdicts are so important’. Lyudmyla Kozlovska adds: ‘We filed 20 civil suits in Poland to debunk this coordinated propaganda by Kaczyński, Nazarbayev and Vlad Plahotniuc’s regimes. Four years later independent courts in Poland are reminding us that in spite all the difficulties we had to overcome, it is worth fighting for justice’.
More about the case in Polish media:
- OKO.Press: Europoseł Tarczyński i redaktor Sakiewicz przegrali procesy z FOD. Mają przeprosić [MEP Tarczynski and editor Sakiewicz lost lawsuits and must apologise to FOD] (22.08.2022)
- NetInfo24: Przebojowa porażka Tarczyńskiego w sądzie. Musi wystosować oficjalne przeprosiny! [Tarczyński’s bitter defeat in court. Tarczyński ordered to issue an official apology] (14.08.2022)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Kolejna wygrana Fundacji Otwarty Dialog. Sąd: Dominik Tarczyński ma przeprosić [Another win for the Open Dialogue Foundation in court.Dominik Tarczynski must apologise] (0 (09.08.2022)
- Salon24: Europoseł PiS musi przeprosić Fundację Otwarty Dialog. Jest wyrok sądu [Court judgment: PiS MEP must apologise to the Open Dialogue Foundation] (09.08.2022)
- Maciej Wąsik loses libel case over Foundation’s ‘ties to Russia’ claim. Court ordered apologies (August 5, 2022)
- 3:0 for ODF. Another victory in court for the Foundation against PiS (April 19, 2021)
- 20 lawsuits filed against Law and Justice. Interim measure against TVP (October 11, 2019)
Cover photo: oko.press