Poland: Court Administrators Charged with Corruption

Former administrators of 10 courts in southern Poland have been charged with corruption amid an ongoing probe, according to a report.


They have been charged with accepting financial gain in exchange for favouritism in decisions to place orders for services provided to a court of appeals in the city of Kraków, the niezalezna.pl news website reported.

The charges come after the 10 court administrators were detained on Monday morning by the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) as part of a probe into suspected corruption in the Kraków court of appeals.

Prosecutors from the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Rzeszów, who are coordinating the probe, said on Monday that seven of the 10 court administrators were still in office at the time of their detention, while the other three had worked in such roles in the past.

Administrators dismissed

But later in the day, the justice minister dismissed all seven administrators who were still holding their positions. He also moved to dismiss three court presidents in the Kraków area, including judge Beata Morawiec, president of a district court in Kraków, according to the niezalezna.pl report.

The National Public Prosecutor’s Office said on Tuesday that prosecutors believed the suspects had accepted financial gain in exchange for favouring specific businesses interested in providing services to the Kraków appeals court.

The National Public Prosecutor’s Office also said that the suspects had accepted money under dubious contracts that were not carried out in practice.

The gains allegedly accepted by the suspects ranged from PLN 4,000 (EUR 950, USD 1,130) to PLN 231,500 (EUR 55,000, USD 65,400), niezalezna.pl said, citing a statement by the National Public Prosecutor’s Office.

According to the statement, the largest amount, “at least PLN 231,500,” was accepted by a suspect identified only as Jacek G. in his former role as administrator of a district court in Tarnów, while Edward K., former administrator of a district court in Kielce, is suspected of accepting at least PLN 227,700, according to niezalezna.pl.

Among the remaining suspects, Józef K. is suspected of having accepted at least PLN 170,500 in his capacity as administrator of a district court in Nowy Sącz; and Bolesław R. has been charged with accepting at least PLN 130,000 in his role as the administrator of a district court in Kraków.

Roman P., a former administrator of a court of appeals in Wrocław, accepted at least PLN 47,400, according to prosecutors.

Former administrators of courts in Zakopane, Oświęcim, Chrzanów, Olkusz and Wadowice are also among the suspects. They are suspected of accepting financial gain ranging from at least PLN 4,000 to PLN 22,000, according to niezalezna.pl.

‘Fictitious contracts’

According to the National Public Prosecutor’s Office, investigators have also established that the court administrators in question, together with other suspects, participated in fraudulent schemes “by signing fictitious contracts and bills falsely attesting that these contracts have been carried out.”

Earlier in the investigation, 16 other suspects were charged with defrauding the Kraków appeals court of nearly PLN 21 million (EUR 5 million, USD 5.9 million). Eight of the suspects are in detention, including five former employees of the Kraków court, niezalezna.pl said.

Some PLN 8 million worth of assets and property have been recovered so far, the National Public Prosecutor’s Office said.

Among those previously detained by the CBA are a former president of the Kraków appeals court, a former administrator and a former chief accountant, in addition to a former deputy director at the justice ministry, and several businessmen.

This “organised criminal group” caused over PLN 35 million worth of losses for the Kraków court of appeals by defrauding it through fictitious services, niezalezna.pl said citing the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau.

Radio Poland

1 December 2017

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