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Mayor of Gdańsk received offensive fake photos. Prosecutor's office drops the case

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Aleksandra Dulkiewicz won a landslide victory in Gdańsk mayoral race
TVN24 News in EnglishAleksandra Dulkiewicz won a landslide victory in Gdańsk mayoral race

Aleksandra Dulkiewicz has received an e-mail with offensive fake photos of herself. One picture shows her wearing a Nazi helmet, and the flag of a Third Reich serving as background. The prosecutor's office has discontinued inquiry into this case. In the justification it was argued that it had not been the intention of the person who had sent the message to promote fascism, but to "express protest against the mayor's policy". Furthermore, the prosecutor claims that there was no offense against a public officer, because even though the message had been sent at mayor Dulkiewicz's official e-mail, it happened in "the evening hours".

The Prosecutor's Office in Gdańsk-Oliwa sent the official notification about discontinuation of the 23rd December 2019.

The case pertains to the message that was sent on July 31st, 2019, at the official e-mail of the mayor of Gdańsk. Attached were two pictures. One of them, edited, shows Aleksandra Dulkiewicz wearing a Nazi helmet, and a flag of the Third Reich with a caption saying "FIFTH COLUMN IN GDAŃSK" serving as background. The second file shows a comedian pointing a finger at his forehead and a sign saying "YOU'RE F****D UP IN THE HEAD".

"Spontaneous protest"

Investigators found out who had sent the message. The man was questioned as a witness.

He said he didn't remember sending the message to Gdańsk mayor on that day, but also didn't deny doing it. He also stated that he was an opponent of Aleksandra Dulkiewicz's policy because, as he said, "this person does not respect Polish authorities, including the President of the Republic, doesn't respect religious beliefs and promotes Free City of Gdańsk, which had Nazi roots".

The statement at the prosecutor's office also quotes the man saying that "so-called fifth columns of people act to the detriment of the Polish state".

He added he wasn't the author of the said memes, "he found them in the internet and only voiced his support".

The man also explained it hadn't been his intention to propagate fascist regime, but he rather wanted "to express his disapproval of such system".

"This incident was merely a spontaneous protest against policy adopted by Aleksandra Dulkiewicz," reads the document. He admitted, however, that "maybe this one was a bit too harsh" which he regretted, but at the same time he felt offended and downgraded by Aleksandra Dulkiewicz and her milieu".

Message came in the evening

Prosecutor's office stated the man's explanation regarding not aiming to propagate fascism, but only to "express his opinion" were plausible.

"It's obvious that not all reference to symbols associated with fascism can be understood as propagating of this system," reads the statement issued by the prosecutor's office.

Furthermore, according to the prosecutor, the fact that the message could have been accessed "only by an inner circle of associates", works for the man's benefit.

One last thing remaining was the question of insulting of a public officer, the city mayor being one.

"In order for insulting of a public officer to occur, it would have to happen during and with regards to fulfilling official duties," writes the prosecutor, concluding that such circumstances didn't occur.

It's not enough the message was sent at the official e-mail of the mayor, as it was delivered "in the evening, at 22:07". Therefore, it was already after "fulfilling official duties".

Protest against the decision

The prosecutor's office explains in the document that insults can only be investigated through private prosecution.

"When assessing the need for continuing public prosecution, it should have been taken into account that the insult was cast at a public officer who, due to the nature of the held office, meets with criticism in various forms and has the right to personally assert her rights. Hence, there were no grounds for the prosecutor to interfere in this area".

The Mayor of Gdańsk Aleksandra Dulkiewicz has already filed a complaint against the prosecutor's decision. The spokesman for the mayor, Daniel Stenzel, said that she didn't agree with the discontinuation and justification, as the message had been sent at the official e-mail and referred to the work of the mayor and the city hall.

Mayor Dulkiewicz says that she regularly receives many similar messages. Threats against her and her relatives also happen.

In total, Gdańsk prosecutor's office ran 11 inquiries into insults, threats and harassment of the city mayor.

"Two inquiries have been discontinued due to failure to identify the perpetrators. Another two have been ended after asking the court for discontinuation and remanding the suspects, as they had been of unsound mind in the moment of committing the offenses. Two inquiries await for international legal advice to be given," said Grażyna Wawryniuk from the District Prosecutor's Office in Gdańsk.

She added that five inquires were ongoing at the time.

Źródło: TVN24 News in English

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Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Karol Makurat/Reporter/East News

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