According to Robert Ziółkowski, former Security Manager and former PiS activist, Deputy
Minister of the Interior and Administration Maciej Wąsik allegedly ordered the Internal
Security Agency (ISA) to conduct surveillance on the President of the Open Dialogue
Foundation Bartosz Kramek in order to gain an advantage in a civil case pending between
them. “When the ISA asked me for my credit card number, it was not strange to me. But
when they sent me into the room to search it, I realised that there’s something fishy in this
case,” he told TOK FM.
In hotels owned by Polish Hotel Holding — the state-owned company managing the largest
hotel chain in Poland, including facilities of such brands as Marriott, Hilton and Best
Western — special services informally conduct surveillance of guests. In addition to people
who are considered a terrorist threat, opposition activists are also being spied on, Gazeta
Wyborcza reported in the second half of April.
PHH president Gheorghe Marian Cristescu was said to have warned one of the leading Law
and Justice MPs Joachim Brudziński (for whom PHH was to renovate a 132-square-metre flat
in the centre of Warsaw), about visits by opposition politicians to facilities owned by the
holding company — this includes their meeting with opposition candidate for president of
Belarus Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya at Courtyard by Marriott in Warsaw, which took place in
Bartosz Kramek also accused PHH of illegal surveillance. The eavesdropping on the President
of the Open Dialogue Foundation at the Renaissance Hotel was allegedly carried out by the
Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs himself, Maciej Wąsik, as revealed by Robert Ziółkowski
— former security manager at PHH.
PHH issued a statement denying that unlawful surveillance of guests was taking place at
PHH hotels and facilities. The company also noted that “each time PHH provides assistance
to the special services of the Polish state, it is done on the basis and within the limits of
generally applicable law”.
Robert Ziółkowski — a whistleblower in the case, listening to the content of the statement
“burst out laughing”. “This is nonsense. It was not unlawful, but simply trampling the law,“
commented the guest of Radio TOK FM’s Poranek, who, he claims, “was in charge of
allowing ISA agents to install operational measures”.
As the former security manager and former Law and Justice (PiS) activist stressed in an
interview with Jacek Żakowski, “the room cannot be equipped without the knowledge of the
CEO“, who is Gheorghe Marian Cristescu. “The CEO personally introduced agents to install
special measures such as cameras. This is unacceptable. You must have the permission of the
court,” said the guest of this morning’s programme.
And ISA does not have court permission, which, according to the informant, was proved by
an inspection carried out by Civic Platform deputies Paweł Poncyliusz and Marcin Kierwiński.
“They explicitly asked the holding to show at least one document in which ISA requested
such approval if the operational measures were lawful. From February 2019 to 30 November
2021, the holding never received any such document. Thus, the PHH will not show such a
document because it does not have one. So why write such a statement?” Robert Ziółkowski
“The agents told me directly what they expected”
Cristescu, CEO of PHH, is said to have called Ziółkowski and told him “that Mr Kramek was
staying in the hotel rooms and that this should be of interest to Mr Wąsik”. The whistleblower confirmed on TOK FM that in authorising ISA to set up operational measures, “he knew he was doing an illegal thing”, just as CEO Cristescu knew.
“The chairman of the board of directors of the company, and above all the minister Maciej
Wąsik, also knew about it — it was he who first put me in touch with the ISA agents. I was at
his office at the time, I told him that Kramek was staying with us. He didn’t so much
persuade me to commit a crime as he told me directly that I would be contacted by the
agents, which happened the next day. There were at least four such meetings, and the
agents told me directly what they expected,” the former security manager said.
As the TOK FM guest confessed, he is interested in politics, so he knew that Kramek was
arrested in 2021 on money laundering charges. “When ISA asked me for my credit card
number, it was not strange to me. But when they sent me into the room to search it, I
realised that there’s something fishy in this case,” said Robert Ziółkowski.
It was then that he realised that Maciej Wąsik was linked to Kramek with a civil suit. In 2019,
the Deputy Minister of the Interior called the Open Dialogue Foundation activists “Russian
agents.” “In any case, in the first instance, Kramek won in court against Wąsik. Thus, Wąsik
was not interested in any search related to Kramek’s case as far as money laundering is
concerned, but Wąsik brazenly used these services to find dirt that he could use in a private
civil case,” explained the guest of the morning programme.
“Let them lie a bit — then the fall will be more painful”
The former security manager revealed something else — Gheorghe Marian Cristescu was to
be invited to the Ministry of State Assets where, in the presence of witnesses, he was asked
to sign a statement of co-operation with the Military Counterintelligence Service (MCS). “A
hotelier to the bone that Cristescu is, and who has spent his entire life in the hotel business,
summoned me to his office and, horrified, showed me this document. I told him that it was
illegal because the MCS cannot create agents in this way. For the hotelier, his discretion is
very important and the email shows that he is not discreet at all as he is passing everything
to Brudziński. I clearly told him that if he signs this, it will be the end of his career,” said
Did Cristescu eventually sign the declaration of cooperation with MCS? There is no evidence
of this. There is, on the other hand, evidence, confirming a conversation with Ziółkowski on
this subject, and it is “crushing”. “I have a recording of our entire conversation on the
subject. The public will hear all the transcripts of the conversations — the one in which Mr
Cristescu talks about Kramek and the conversation with Wąsik,” the former security
manager admitted, but, as he announced, he will still hold off on revealing their contents.
“My strategy is to let them lie a bit — then the fall will be more painful,” Robert Ziółkowski
said in an interview on TOK FM.