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Supreme Audit chief accuses public services of urging inmates to provide false statements against him and his family

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Bertold Kittel o konferencji prezesa NIK
Bertold Kittel o konferencji prezesa NIKTVN24
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TVN24Bertold Kittel on NIK chief's press conference

"We have testimonies of people who were urged by the prosecutor's office and services to provide false incriminatory statements against myself and my family," President of the Supreme Audit Office (NIK) Marian Banaś announced at a press conference on Monday. Later that day, the National Public Prosecutor's Office denied any wrongdoing had ever taken place, and reassured that prosecutors had never urged anyone to provide false statements against Banaś.

NIK chief Marian Banaś said at a press conference organised on Monday that "never before have the state machinery worked so hard to oust the Supreme Audit Office president".

Banaś: I've decided to share shocking news with public opinion

That is why he has decided "to share with public opinion shocking news, which in every healthy democracy would spark dismissals of top state officials".

"I have statements by people who were urged to provide false testimony incriminating myself and my family. In return they were offerred release from detention and awaiting for trial at home. For not succumbing to blackmail from prosecutor's office and special services representatives, they spent nearly 2,5 years in temporary detention," Banaś said. He reassured he would make the said statements available for appropriate bodies.

"I ask publicly: How many more are still out there, who received such proposals, but didn't find courage, to inform me about it? How many people succumbed to blackmail?" - Banaś asked.

He stressed that "it's an unprecedented situation since the collapse of PRL (Polish People's Republic), for the NIK chief to be targeted by special services and prosecutor's office". "I will not leave this without a response," he announced.

Marian BanaśTVN24

Małecki: we want to secure evidence and call Mr Banaś as a witness

Marian Banaś's attorney Marek Małecki said that the NIK had materials proving that crimes of urging to provide false statements, stating false accusations, reporting uncommitted offences, and creating false evidence". "This proves that the representatives of the prosecutor's office and special services overstepped authority. Such offence carries up to eight years in prison," he said.

"We will be asking for traces and crime evidence to be secured, so they don't get lost, and for the chairman to be heard as a witness," Małecki said.

Marek Chmaj and Marian BanaśTVN24

Banaś wants investigating commission

Professor Marek Chmaj, also present at the conference, informed that "due to a number of actions taken by the Prosecutor General and subordinate bodies, Mr Marian Banaś has decided to ask the Speaker of the Sejm Elżbieta Witek and all parliamentary leaders to set up an investigating commission to look into the matter".

"The commission would operate within the framework of Sejm's supervisory function. We want the Sejm to carry out an inspection of the work of Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro and bodies subordinate to him. In the scope of Prosecutor General's supervision of prosecutor's offices, especially in relation to possible coercing of statements incriminating the NIK president," Chmaj said.

Prokuratury Krajowej odpowiada na oświadczenie Mariana Banasia

In reaction to Marian Banaś's words, the National Public Prosecutor's Office (PK) issued a statement later on Monday, in which it dismissed his allegations as untrue.

The PK added that materials, based on which a request to lift NIK president's immunity has been filed, consisted mainly of documents seized by the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) during searches of dozens of locations, and from banks, offices and other institutions, as well as of opinions issued based on the said documents.

"In none of all investigations lauched by all prosecutor's offices, have the prosecutors urged witnesses or accused to provide false statements against Marian Banaś," the National Public Prosecutor's Office.

Furthermore, it said that "Marian Banaś's allegations are a desperate attempt to distract public opinion from the very essence of criminal proceedings launched against him".

Ziobro wants NIK chief's immunity lifted

The National Public Prosecutor's Office informed in late July that the Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro asked the Speaker of the Sejm to lift NIK chief's immunity.

Among a dozen or so charges the prosecutor's office is to present to Marian Banaś, is providing false information in tax and assets declarations.

According to prosecutors, Banaś is said to have underreported income for 2015-2020, generated from leasing a tenement house in Kraków, which caused the State Treasury to lose over 50,000 zlotys.

Autor:gf

Źródło: TVN24 News in English, TVN24

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