TVP must apologise to Bartosz Kramek, Lyudmyla Kozlovska and the Open Dialogue Foundation for the violation of their personal rights. That is the decision of the District Court in Warsaw. Moreover, TVP must also pay a total of PLN 200,000 in damages, according to Wirtualne Media.
Open Dialogue Foundation wins court case against TVP
The victory in court was announced on social media by Lyudmyla Kozlovska, President of the Open Dialogue Foundation, and wife of Bartosz Kramek, Chairman of the ODF Board.
“On 13 June 2023, the District Court in Warsaw ordered TVP to apologise to us for the violation of personal rights and to pay damages for disseminating false information about the Open Dialogue Foundation, Lyudmyla Kozlovska, Bartosz Kramek and Silk Road Biuro Analiz i Informacji [i.e. the company managed by Bartosz Kramek – ed.]. This has been an unprecedented judgment in a case involving massive rights violations resulting from a smear campaign initiated by Polish Television. Six years after the first libel, and following a four-year court case, the Law and Justice propaganda machine has been obligated to apologize for their lies and to pay damages,” Lyudmyla Kozlovska wrote.
She added, “Since the Law and Justice party came to power, [TVP] has groundlessly accused the Open Dialogue Foundation of ‘financing its activities with Russian money’, ‘trying to provoke a bloody Euromaidan in Poland’, ‘laundering of oligarch money’ and ‘working for the secret services of Russia, Brussels, Germany and Soros against the Polish authorities’.” According to the activist “the real reason for the persecution by the Polish authorities was our criticism of the government and our defence of independent courts in Poland in the international arena”.
The lawsuit concerned 37 items of material aired on TVP.
“Within 14 days of the judgment coming into effect, TVP must publish an appropriate statement.”
The court files show that, within 14 days of the judgment coming into effect, TVP must publicly state that “[it] hereby apologises to Ms Lyudmyla Kozlovska, Mr Bartosz Kramek, and the Open Dialogue Foundation for violating their personal rights such as, in particular, the right to a good name, including reputation and recognition, as well as the right to protect their image in the form of a logo symbolizing the Foundation, through the dissemination of harmful and false information in numerous articles and video footage posted on www.wiadomosci.tvp.pl, i.e. the website managed by TVP.”
TVP has been also obliged to publish such a statement on www.tvp.info, vod.tvp.pl, www.polandin.com and tvp.world.
Moreover, the apology must also be broadcast at 7:30 p.m as the first news item in the main evening edition of the “Wiadomości” news service and the “woronicza17” programme at 7:30 p.m. The note of apology is to be read out by a news anchor, and its broadcast time must not be less than 30 seconds.
The aforementioned statements are also to appear over the footage that defames Kozlovska, Kramek and ODF and that still remains posted on TVP’s websites (some has already been removed).
TVP to pay compensation to Kramek and Kozlovska
Moreover, TVP has been obliged to pay compensation of more than PLN 60,000 in favour of Bartosz Kramek, Lyudmyla Kozlovska and ODF, and PLN 20,000 in favour of Silk Road Biuro Analiz i Informacji. The compensation is to be paid along with statutory interest accrued as of 17 October 2019.
Wirtualne Media asked TVP whether they would appeal against the court’s decision. “‘The judgment is not final and therefore not yet enforceable. After the formal delivery of the judgment and its substantiation, the company will decide on possible legal steps,’ the TVP Information Centre reported.”
Telewizja Polska was sued for PLN 200,000 for “allegations of arms trafficking, benefiting from Russian financing, possession of Russian passports, ties to Russian special services, money laundering, being financed by oligarch Mukhtar Ablyazov, treason against Ukraine, and planning a coup d’état”.
Those sued by the Open Dialogue Foundation
As Wirtualne Media reminds us, ODF also sued Radio Poland for PLN 200,000, Fratria for PLN 100,000; Marcin Rey for PLN 100,000; Balli Marzec for PLN 20,000; Witold Gadowski, a journalist, for PLN 30,000; Tomasz Sakiewicz, the editor-in-chief at Gazeta Polska and Gazeta Polska Codziennie for PLN 30,000; Marcin Wikło (Sieci) for PLN 300,000; Marek Pyza (Sieci) for PLN 300,000, Wojciech Biedroń (Sieci) for PLN 200,000; and Tomasz Sakiewicz and Niezależna Publishing House for PLN 50,000. The following politicians were also sued: Maciej Wąsik for PLN 30,000; Szymon Szynkowski vel Sęk for PLN 30,000; Krystyna Pawłowicz for PLN 15,000; Patryk Jaki for PLN 15,000; Joachim Brudziński for PLN 30,000; Witold Waszczykowski for PLN 30,000; Jacek Saryusz-Wolski for PLN 20,000; Dominik Tarczyński for PLN 15,000, and finally, Ryszard Czarnecki for PLN 30,000.
- Polish state broadcaster TVP forced to apologise and pay damages following court verdict (July 4, 2023)
- Onet: The Open Dialogue Foundation Wins Against the Polish Public TV (TVP): Apologies and PLN 200 000 of Compensatory Damages (June 29, 2023)
- OKO.press: The Polish Public TV (TVP) Lost in a Major Lawsuit Against the Open Dialogue Foundation and the Foundation’s Leaders (June 29, 2023)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: The Open Dialogue Foundation has faulted Law and Justice. Now they win court battle after battle, recently against state TVP (July 2, 2023)
- Press: TVP is to apologise to the Open Dialogue Foundation at the beginning of “Wiadomości” news service and pay compensation of PLN 200,000 (July 3, 2023)
- Wirtualne Media: TVP is to apologise to the Open Dialogue Foundation at the beginning of “Wiadomości” news service and pay compenstation of PLN 200,000 (July 3, 2023)
- Spider’s Web: TVP lost in court. It must apologise to the Open Dialogue Foundation (July 3, 2023)
- Gazeta.pl: TVP must broadcast the apology as the first piece of news in “Wiadomości” news service. The court precisely designated the specific time of the broadcast (July 3, 2023)