Wide-ranging corruption scandal hits Polish ministries

Wide-ranging corruption scandal hits Polish ministries
A former deputy minister of the interior in Poland is among a group of officials to have been arrested on bribery charges in the „biggest scandal in the history of Polish kickbacks”. 
Poland's anti-corruption unit (CBA) makes arrests in scandal which rocks government ministries: photo - cba.gov.pl

Poland’s anti-corruption unit (CBA) makes arrests in scandal which rocks government ministries: photo – cba.gov.pl

His arrest concerns contracts for the purchase of IT equipment for the ministry of the interior, as well as for the country’s Police Headquarters (KGP).

A top official at Poland’s statistical office (GUS) has also been arrested.

„This is the biggest scandal in the history of Polish kickbacks,” spokesman for Poland’s anti-corruption unit (CBA) Jacek Dobrzynski told the Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

Witold D. (full name withheld under Polish privacy laws) served as deputy minister between 2007 and 2009.

According to state prosecutor Zbigniew Jaskolski, Witold D. has heard three charges, among them two related to abuse of power for financial gain.

If found guilty, he faces up to ten years in prison.

Similar charges have been heard by Tomasz K, who was the deputy head of the ministry’s branch of the IT Projects Centre (CPI).

The arrests follow the detention of 18 people on Tuesday.

Krzysztof K, deputy chief at the GUS statistical office was asked to resign on Friday morning by Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

„I would have thought the reason for his resignation is obvious,” government spokesman Pawel Gras told reporters.

Pawel Wojtunik, head of the anti-corruption unit, has said that more arrests will follow, and that about 100 tenders for IT equipment are being investigated.

He said on Thursday that those who step forward will receive more lenient treatment, adding that the investigation is one of the biggest to have been led by the CBA in recent years.

Probe

The first arrest as a result of the investigation was made in October 2011 as part of a,ling running investigation into corruption at Poland’s ministries.

Among those arrested and charged on Thursday was Monika F., a former employee at the foreign ministry, who was dismissed on Wednesday, and Krzysztof K., who according to reports is the deputy head of Poland’s Central Statistical Office (GUS).

Prime Minister Donald carried out an extensive cabinet reshuffle this week, but Jaroslaw Kaczynski, head of the largest opposition party Law and Justice, has said that the changes are “meaningless” in the light of the unfolding corruption affair.

(nh/pg)

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