Lukashenko on Polish judge defector: ‘A completely normal person, patriotic Pole, Putin is interested in his story’

Lukashenko said the Polish judge is now under the protection of Belarus, "so these scoundrels don't kill the man"

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko attends a meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. (Evgenia Novozhenina/Pool Photo via AP)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
3 Min Read

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko announced that he has instructed the police to protect Tomasz Szmydt, a former Polish judge who has fled Poland and asked for political asylum in Belarus.

Lukashenko addressed the issue of the Polish citizen seeking asylum after Thursday’s Victory Day celebrations, where he mentioned that the defection of officials from Poland is a “trend.”

He refuted claims that Belarus and Russia recruit such individuals, labeling these allegations as “complete nonsense.” According to Lukashenko, he only saw Tomasz Szmydt at a press conference and found him to be “a completely normal person.”

The Belarusian leader learned about Szmydt’s situation the day before from the KGB and initially ordered a background check on him. Describing the judge’s escape as a blow to Polish authority, Lukashenko commented: “And then they start: traitor, this and that. He is not a traitor, but he really looks at everything, compares Poland with Belarus and draws conclusions.”

Lukashenko also revealed that Russian President Vladimir Putin has taken an interest in Szmydt’s story, indicating the significance of the matter. He dismissed accusations of recruitment by Belarus as “complete stupidity,” challenging Warsaw to present facts to support their claims.

In his interview with the state news agency BełTa, Lukashenko further stated that he had ordered the judicial authorities to ensure Szmydt’s protection, expressing concern for his safety. “So these scoundrels don’t kill the man, although he says: ‘I know what I am heading towards.’ A brave man. A normal man, as far as I am informed now.”

Tomasz Szmydt was until recently a judge at the Second Department of the Administrative Court in Warsaw and has held various positions within the Polish judiciary. On Monday, during a press conference in Minsk, he announced his request for political asylum in Belarus, citing it as a protest against Poland’s policies towards Belarus and Russia.

On Thursday, the president of the Supreme Administrative Court accepted Szmydt’s declaration of immediate resignation from his judicial position, meaning he is no longer a judge.

Share This Article