Dominik Tarczyński, a PiS MEP, must apologise to the Open Dialogue Foundation for his statement about the Foundation’s alleged involvement in laundering money coming from Russia. This is yet another case won by the Foundation concerning the violation of personal rights by representatives of the ruling party.
The MEP must apologise to the Open Dialogue Foundation
“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” the MEP writes in the apology, which he is obliged to publish with his own signature on his Twitter profile. This statement must appear on the website continuously for 60 days.
“Gazeta Wyborcza” notes that the judgement of the District Court in Warsaw is not final.
Tarczyński’s statement on money laundering
Three years ago, the Open Dialogue Foundation and Lyudmyla Kozlovska sued Dominik Tarczyński in connection with his statement of May 2019. On the air of the “Deutsche Welle” radio, the politician said that the Co-Founder of the Foundation, Lyudmyla Kozlovska, was involved in laundering money from Russia.
As emphasised by “Gazeta Wyborcza”, the MEP’s statement was part of the ongoing slander campaign of the ruling party against the Open Dialogue Foundation, Lyudmyla Kozlovska and Bartosz Kramek, who is the Co-Founder and Head of the Foundation Board.
Bartosz Kramek’s trouble
In 2017, Kramek published a text in which, using the example of the events of the Ukrainian Maidan, he proposed “how can the attack of Law and Justice (PiS) on the rule of law in Poland be stopped”. His statement was related to protests in defence of free courts. “Wyborcza” notes that this publication caused the services subordinate to PiS to “recognise him as a putschist”, and numerous control services were sent to the Foundation. More than 1,500 articles discrediting it have also appeared on the Internet.
“Five years ago, overnight, I became one of the main public enemies of this government. I have no idea why PiS stated that I could threaten them,” Kramek said in an interview with “Wyborcza”.
As a result, activists have filed 20 lawsuits against politicians and journalists for attacks on the Open Dialogue Foundation.
The Head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration lost his case
Last week, Maciej Wąsik, the Head of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration and Deputy Coordinator of the Secret Services, lost a lawsuit for the violation of personal rights. He accused the Foundation of links with Russia, money laundering, and hybrid activities, and accused Bartosz Kramek of calling for bloodshed.
In a non-final judgement, the District Court in Warsaw ordered the politician to apologise to the activists.
The Foundation is currently awaiting the outcome of the pending court cases.
Allegations against Kramek and the Open Dialogue Foundation
Bartosz Kramek listed to some of the allegations made against him and his environment by the government in recent years “Wyborcza”.
“My wife is Ukrainian, and what is worse, she is from the Crimean city of Sevastopol. She once met George Soros, who, according to PiS, was behind the protests in defence of democracy in Poland. Andrzej Wielowieyski is a member of the Foundation’s Board. In addition, we have several photos with Adam Michnik, and a history of acquaintances with many politicians of the current opposition. In 2014, during the rule of PO party, after verification by the Internal Security Agency and military counter-intelligence, we were granted a license to supply helmets and bulletproof vests to soldiers and journalists in Ukraine, which was then turned into the information that we were allegedly trading weapons, and then that we were preparing weapons for the “Maidan in Poland”. In addition, we have been lobbying against PiS in Europe – our meetings with EU commissioners responsible for the rule of law caused fury. TVP presented all this as a dangerous scheme of which we are a central part,” said Kramek in an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza.
In June 2021, Kramek was detained by the Internal Security Agency under the suspicion of false statements and money laundering. Less than a month later, he was released on bail. The activist emphasises that “since then, nothing has happened in his case.” However, he stressed that the prosecutor overseeing the investigation, Jerzy Ziarkiewicz, has decided that Kramek could not leave the country and that he was obliged to report to the police station in Warsaw everyday.
Activities of the Foundation for Ukraine
Currently, the Open Dialogue Foundation focuses its activities on providing assistance to Ukraine and supporting war refugees in Poland. At the Eastern Railway Station in Warsaw, the Foundation opened three homes for single refugee mothers, and as of the end of July, the organisation had provided assistance worth over PLN 20 million.