Investigation into photos of MEPs hanged on gallows discontinued
Katowice prosecutor's office has discontinued the investigation into a manifestation from November 2017, when its organisers hanged photos on gallows, showing MEPs who had voted for the European Parliament's resolution regarding the rule of law in Poland.
According to the investigators, the participants of the event organised by nationalistic circles "Stop Contemporary Targowica. Manifestation in defence of national and patriotic values" didn't brake the law. In terms of moral and ethical categories, the prosecution has critically assessed the way of expressing their viewpoint.
The inquiry was being led into possible violence of threat against a group or a person motivated due to their nationality, ethnicity, race, political views, creed or lack thereof. Such offense carries a punishment from 3 months up to 5 years in prison.
"The investigation showed that the offense described in Article 119 Clause 1 of the Criminal Code has not been committed, especially regarding unlawful threats motivated by political views. The goal of the 20-minute gathering was to express criticism of those MEPs who had voted for the European Parliament resolution negative for Poland," the spokesperson for the Katowice District Prosecutor's Office Marta Zawada-Dybek said on Tuesday.
"The criticism was therefore directed at the voting decision, rather than political affiliation of the MEPs. It was determined that none of the participants of the manifestation had issued threats against the politicians, incited to committing crime, or spoken about any of the MEPs in particular," prosecutor Zawada-Dybek added.
The prosecutor's office informed that the performance that had included hanging portraits of politicians on constructions imitating gallows "had a symbollic character, referring to historical events from the 18th century, portrayed in a painting by Jan Piotr Norblin".
"In the intention of the organisers, the performance was to draw an analogy between the Targowica Confederation (confederation of Polish and Lithuanian magnates who opposed the Constitution of 3 May 1791) and the MEPs voting for the resolution, while its symbollic character was explained in a speech by one of the organisers," the prosecutor's office said.
Civic Platform (PO) MEP Andrzej Halicki said on Tuesday that it was "a scandalous decision by a politicised prosecutor's office". "We won't leave this case this way. Inciting to lynching is really dangerous," he added and announced that the PO would file a complaint and appeal against the verdict.
Former Chairman of the Committee on Budgets Janusz Lewandowski called the inquiry discontinuation "a scandal". "For instance, the death of Paweł Adamowicz (former mayor of Gdańsk) has showed just how short is the way from from symbolic lynch to actual murder. This is granting immunity to all those who understand politics as hate speech, who point at political opponents as targets for political and physical aggression. I hope that my words won't become reality, that I haven't foretold something very dangerous," he added.
MEP Róża Thun said on Tuesday: "with today's decision the prosecutor's office says that lynch is something acceptable. This is extremely dangerous for the Polish society.We cannot leave it like this, as the society cannot approve of such things".
According to MEP Danuta Huebner (PO), the decision is seen in the European Parliament "as another proof that Polish justice system doesn't work, doesn't represent all these principles so important for Europe and Poland".
"Absolutely scandalous decision by minister Ziobro," said Krzysztof Hetman from Polish People Party (PSL). "Every decent Pole should protest against this decision, because it was a clear inciting to violence in the public sphere," he added.
Autor: gf / Źródło: TVN24 News in English, PAP
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: Silesia Flash TVS