Last Thursday, the Court of Appeal in Warsaw delivered the second-instance judgment in the case brought against Tomasz Sakiewicz and Niezależne Wydawnictwo Polskie by Bartosz Kramek, President of the Open Dialogue Foundation. The Editor-in-Chief of the Gazeta Polska weekly must apologise to Mr Kramek, pay damages and cover legal fees.
The Court of Appeal in Warsaw upheld the judgment issued by the first-instance court regarding the financial compensation. Tomasz Sakiewicz and Niezależne Wydawnictwo Polskie were obliged to jointly and severally pay PLN 15,000 to Bartosz Kramek, PLN 10,000 to the Women’s Rights Centre and cover the costs of litigation in the amount of PLN 3,240.
Is Donald Tusk also going to sue Mr Sakiewicz?
Moreover, the court also obliged the defendants to publish a statement of apology to Bartosz Kramek on page 2 of Gazeta Polska. Kramek had initially demanded that such a statement appear on the cover page of the weekly. The judgment is final.
The case in question concerned the violation of Bartosz Kramek’s dignity, respect, honour, good name and reputation. This violation was perpetrated by a photomontage printed on the cover of Gazeta Polska of 16 August 2017. The plaintiff’s face was incorporated into a German propaganda photograph of 1 September 1939 showing the Danzig police force breaking down the Polish border barrier.
In his commentary on the court decision, Tomasz Sakiewicz stated that the litigants were not treated equally. Since the case began, he has been insisting that the cover was satirical in nature, and that satire is not a punishable offence in Poland. However, Sakiewicz should fear another lawsuit for a Gazeta Polska cover. This time the plaintiff would be Donald Tusk, who was compared to Adolf Hitler in a July issue of the weekly and his photo was edited accordingly.
In the media:
- OKO.press: MEP Tarczynski and editor-in-chief of “Gazeta Polska”, Sakiewicz, lost their lawsuits against ODF. They must apologise (August 22, 2022)
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Libellers must apologise and pay for the cover story (August 12, 2022)
- Wirtualne Media: Sakiewicz and “Gazeta Polska” lose Wehrmacht cover case to Bartosz Kramek. Apology ordered (August 12, 2022)
- Onet: Sakiewicz must apologise for the cover of “Gazeta Polska” (August 11, 2022)
- Dziennik: Sakiewicz must apologise for the cover of “Gazeta Polska”. There’s a court decision (August 11, 2022)