At the beginning of the week, the Open Dialogue Foundation and the Association of Judges “Themis” (Polish: Stowarzyszenie Sędziów „Themis”) published a report that portrays the actions of the Public Prosecution Office under Zbigniew Ziobro in quite a terrible light. In this report, businessmen recount the harassment they have suffered at the hands of investigators.
The report is almost 130 pages long. “It contains dozens stories of, among others, business people, judges, and politicians who fell victim to actions that could be described as repressions,” we read in the Wednesday issue of the Rzeczpospolita daily, which writes about the “breaking of businessmen’s backs” by public prosecutors.
The daily cites the accounts of three figures described in the report who spoke during its presentation. One of them is Piotr Osiecki, the founder and former CEO of the Altus TFI investment fund. He is being accused in a case that is an offshoot of the so-called GetBack case, in which thousands of investors lost around PLN 2.7 billion.
As money.pl wrote four years ago, the Polish Financial Supervision Commission (KNF) accused Altus TFI of inadequate daily supervision over the body that the company had entrusted with the management of its investment portfolios, that is, the company GetBack.
The daily reports that Piotr Osiecki was “arrested three times on the same charge, spending a total of 16 months behind bars despite posting a record-high bail”.
“Successful restructuring” paved the way to an arrest
Jakub Karnowski, a former CEO of the Polish Railways (PKP) is the second person to share his experiences with the Public Prosecution Office under Zbigniew Ziobro, the Minister of Justice and, at the same time, the Public Prosecutor General. Karnowski was one of those accused by investigators of wrongdoings in PKP Cargo’s purchase of the Czech freight operator AWT eight years ago.
Rzeczpospolita reports that “the losses were said to have reached PLN 250 million. Charges were brought despite two expert reports, including one prepared by a consortium of the brokerage house DM PKO BP, EY and the law firm Weil Gotshal & Manges, which concluded that the transaction had been conducted properly. This year, the charges were changed.”Jakub Karnowski argues that the case has a political dimension. And it is, he claims, “all about the successful restructuring and listing of PKP Cargo on the stock exchange, as well as his cooperation with former Deputy Prime Minister Leszek Balcerowicz,” wrote the daily.
- ODF and Themis Report on the Activities of the Polish Public Prosecutor’s Office under the Rule of Zbigniew Ziobro (October 7, 2023)
In other media:
- Gazeta Wyborcza: Entrepreneurs, you are not powerless. You have a vote! (October 13, 2023)
- Rzeczpospolita: How Zbigniew Ziobro’s Public Prosecutor’s Office ‘Broke Businessmen’s Backs’ (October 11, 2023)
- Rzeczpospolita: Cezary Szymanek: Public Prosecutor and Judge in Service of Party: How PiS Breaks Businessmen (October 11, 2023)