It has become apparent that President Duda’s pardon was a wasted effort. Maciej Wąsik failed to seize this opportunity for rehabilitation.
During the first time when the Law and Justice Party (PiS) was in power and Maciej Wąsik was the Deputy Head of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA), he gained the nickname ‘snitch’. The nickname was indeed deservedly earned. As ‘Wyborcza’ has disclosed, over the course of three years Wąsik plugged into the system monitoring wiretaps set up by the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau 6 200 times. Wąsik was so fascinated by the world of eavesdropping and all types of surveillance that he had a special device installed in his office to listen in on a regular basis to the figureheads, many of whom were political opponents of the Law and Justice party.
In fact Wąsik holds an eavesdropping record as he listened to wiretaps several times a day, more frequently than operational officers who were in charge of surveillance.
Saved from prison
In 2015, Mariusz Kamiński, the Head of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau, Maciej Wąsik and two special agents were sentenced to three years’ incarceration. The Central Anti-Corruption Bureau special operations officers have been found guilty of abusing their powers by fabricating documents and extorting court approvals for wiretapping. Their illegal actions were directed, among others, against the former President Aleksander Kwasniewski and deputy PM of their party-ruled government, Andrzej Lepper.
Wąsik and Kamiński have been saved from prison by Law and Justice’s victory in parliamentary elections and Andrzej Duda’s victory in the Presidential race. They have been pardoned by the President Duda before a hearing in a court of second instance. And then they have been put in charge of the special services by the Law and Justice party.
Today they are both in charge of the Ministry of the Interior and exercise full powers over the police and the same special services which they previously misused to violate the law.
They are also Law and Justice MPs. During voting on important issues in the Polish Sejm, Wąsik strides around the room, disciplining the less well-informed members of the ruling party.
The deputy minister’s predilections have not changed
The article on the ‘hotel scandal’ published by the ‘Wyborcza’ daily on Monday shows that Maciej Wąsik’s taste for bugs has not waned. According to an informant whom Wąsik has recommended for the post of the head of security of the Polish Hotel Holding (PHH), it seems that Wąsik wanted his officer to follow the oppositionist Bartosz Kramek, who stayed at the hotel. The deputy minister was also aware of PHH’s Chairman passing information to the Law and Justice Party about opposition meetings at the Marriott hotel.
Earlier ‘Wyborcza’ has revealed that it was Maciej Wąsik who was behind the surveillance of the opposition MP Krzysztof Brejza with the use of the Pegasus surveillance system.
It is thus plain that President Duda’s pardon failed to bring the desired effect. Maciej Wąsik did not seize the opportunity for rehabilitation. At this point in time, he is but a recidivist. And he is allowed to operate with impunity. That’s the one and only lesson he has learnt so far.
In other media:
- Polityka: How much the PiS government knows about us and what it can do to us. It has the most sensitive, intimate data (August 14, 2023)
- TOK.fm: The Hotel scandal. Why did the deputy Minister of the Interior and Administration order a search of Bartosz Kramek’s room? “He brazenly used the services” (May 26, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Bartosz Kramek is seeking an apology and a compensation of PLN 1 million for being invigilated at hotels (May 23, 2023)
- Horeca Business Club: Bugged hotels of the Polish Hotel Holding: Request for a Council of Europe investigation (May 1, 2023)
- Radio Zet: Yet another bugging scandal? ‘Surveillance in hotels, searching for condoms’ (April 28, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Poland’s government colluded with state-owned hotel chain to spy on political opponents (April 25, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: The Hotel Scandal. The Marriott Headquarters: “We are taking all efforts to ensure a warm welcome for everyone” (April 24, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: The hotel scandal. Threats against the whistleblower (April 22, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Bugged hotels discussed in the Sejm. The whistleblower met with opposition MPs (April 21, 2023)
- Trybuna: The room service (April 20, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Agnieszka Kublik: Stay alert while in a hotel bathroom! This is not a hitchcock movie, this is Kaczyński’s Poland (April 19, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: The hotel scandal. After the article published by ‘Wyborcza’, Kramek wants Wąsik and Brudziński prosecuted (April 18, 2023)
- Horeca Business Club: Bugged hotels of the Polish Hotel Holding Group (April 17, 2023)
- Onet: Bugged hotels. This is how special services reportedly spied on the opposition (April 17, 2023)
- Upday: Do Law and Justice party special services snoop on the opposition in hotels? (April 17, 2023)
- Wirtualna Polska: Surveillance of hotel guests? The Polish Hotel Holding responds and denies involvement (April 17, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Bugged Hotels. Gazeta Wyborcza Daily reveals how the Law and Justice’s secret services are keeping tabs on the opposition (April 17, 2023)