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Court discontinues case of writer Jakub Żulczyk accused of insulting president Duda

TVN24 | TVN24 News in English

TVN24 News in English, PAP
PAP/Rafał GuzWriter Jakub Żulczyk with his life partner, film critic Adriana Prodeus in the courtroom

The District Court in Warsaw has discontinued the case of writer Jakub Żulczyk, accused of insulting President Andrzej Duda in a Facebook post from November 2020. At the time, in the context of presidential election in the USA, Żulczyk called the president "a moron".

After the 2020 U.S. presidential election, President Andrzej Duda wrote on Twitter: "Congratulations to Joe Biden for a successful presidential campaign. As we await the nomination by the Electoral College, Poland is determined to upkeep high-level and high-quality PL-US strategic partnership for an even stronger alliance".

Poland's popular and acclaimed writer Jakub Żulczyk commented on president Duda's words in a Facebook post: "I've never heard of such a thing in American election process as 'nomination by the Electoral College'. (...) Joe Biden is the 46th president of the USA. Andrzej Duda is a moron".

Jakub Żulczyk, accused of insulting President Andrzej Duda, has pleaded not guilty to the charge. The trial began in November, 2021, and came to an end after two court sessions. Żulczyk argued his comment was meant to express criticism and concern with the president's actions, as in his view, they had put "Poland's international reputation" at risk. The defence called for acquittal, while the prosecution asked for five-month restriction liberty in the form of community service and public apology published on Facebook.

The District Court in Warsaw on Monday decided to discontinue the case. Judge Tomasz Grochowicz underscored that the defendant had not committed an offence with his actions. "For action of insignificant social harm cannot be considered a crime," he argued. The judge added that the insulting word with which Żulczyk concluded his post could not have been treated as separate from the whole message.

The ruling is not final. Spokesperson for the District Prosecutor's Office in Warsaw said the prosecution would appeal against the court decision, and argued that the writer had in fact insulted the president.


Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP

Źródło zdjęcia głównego:  PAP/Rafał Guz

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