Telewizja Polska is to apologise the Open Dialogue Foundation for spreading injurious and false information about the entity at the beginning of the main evening edition of Wiadomości News Service. They are also to pay PLN 200 thousand in compensation, as determined by the District Court of Warsaw. This court case, which can be described as unprecedented, involved nearly 40 materials aired by government television, which accused the ODF, Lyudmyla Kozlovska and Bartosz Kramek of, among others, having ties to Russia, benefitting from illegal financing, being involved in espionage, organizing a coup d’état, or terrorist activities. The judgment is not yet final.DOWNLOAD THE COURT JUDGMENT
The apology note is to be posted for 60 days on the TVP website, in front of all other content, as well as on the “Wiadomości” website, and on the following websites: tvp.info, vod.tvp.pl and tvpworld.com (formerly known as: polandin.com), in several programmes aired on TVP Info, and as the first news item presented in the main evening edition of Wiadomości News Service at 7:30 pm. The court specified the exact time of the apology broadcast on purpose because of a precedent – when “Wiadomości” was obliged to apologize to a TVN journalist, the news programme started five minutes earlier than usual i.e. at 7:25 p.m., so that viewers appearing in front of their TV sets at 7:30 p.m. would not see it.
The foundation brought a lawsuit for infringement of personal rights against this public television broadcaster almost four years ago, that is, in October 2019. The lawsuit itself concerned 37 deceitful releases, which are just a fraction of the several hundred defamatory materials targeting the ODF and its leaders. In September 2019, the court granted the Foundation’s request for a protective order. TVP then published information about the lawsuit we brought against them and removed some recordings of “Wiadomości” from its websites. As observed by Krzysztof Boczek, in his article published at OKO.press: “In this judgment, the court has just crushed the Polish public television – they are to apologise to the couple in charge of the ODF for their multiple lies, innuendos and manipulation of facts.”
Judge Mariusz Solka, in his substantiation of the decision of 13 June 2023, referred to the “extremely perfidious manipulation” and repeatedly pointed to the “direct violation of personal rights”, “assessments of facts that had nothing to do with reality”, and “completely one-sided coverage.”
“The propaganda and hate speech exercised by TVP may not be simply left unpunished. If it were not for all this venom, Law and Justice would not have stayed in power. I wish our example inspired others to fight for their rights as well. Please, never let it go.” – this is how Lyudmyla Kozlovska commented on her court victory, adding also that: “Ever since the Law and Justice came to power, TVP has been groundlessly accusing the Open Dialogue Foundation of ‘financing its activities with Russian money,’ ‘trying to provoke a bloody Euromaidan in Poland’, ‘laundering oligarchs’ dirty money’, ‘cooperation with the secret services of Russia, Brussels, Germany and Soros against the Polish authorities’. However, the real reason for such persecution on the part of the Polish authorities was the fact that ODF was very critical of the Polish government, and defended Poland’s independent courts on the international forum”.
This was our fifth-ever court win against the Law and Justice’s politicians and their supporting propaganda institutions. The previous successful cases concerned statements by the Law and Justice MP and MEP, Dominik Tarczynski, and deputy head of the secret service Maciej Wąsik, who used to accuse the ODF of being linked to Russia, participating in Russian money laundering, or encouraging bloodshed. The ruling party had been taking its inspirations, among other things, from “The Operations and Connections of the Open Dialogue Foundation” a report by Marcin Rey, who, under a court settlement in March 2023, was obliged to apologize to the ODF and its members. Bartosz Kramek, in turn, won a court case against “Gazeta Polska” weekly, and its editor-in-chief Tomasz Sakiewicz, who featured his photo styled as a Wehrmacht soldier attacking Poland in 1939 on the cover of the magazine.
Cover photo: Cezary Aszkielowicz / Agencja Wyborcza.pl
- Marcin Rey’s apology. Court settlement concludes the dispute (March 11, 2023)
- ODF wins court case against Dominik Tarczyński MEP (August 15, 2022)
- Maciej Wąsik loses libel case over Foundation’s ‘ties to Russia’ claim. Court ordered apologies (August 5, 2022)
- TVP complies with court order in ODF case (February 2, 2021)
- Polish Radio executes interim measure re. ODF (May 6, 2020)
- 20 lawsuits filed against Law and Justice. Interim measure against TVP (October 11, 2019)
- “Gazeta Polska” and Tomasz Sakiewicz lose in court to the Open Dialogue Foundation (April 25, 2019)
In the media:
- 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 vexes Law and Justice. Now court victories pile up, most recently against Polish Public TV [i.e. TVP] (July 3, 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)
- Salon24: TVP has to apologise the Foundation run by Kramek and Kozlovska. The Open Dialogue has won in court (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)