Poland: Former deputy PM Roman Giertych and billionaire Ryszard K. detained and charged with fraud

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Attorney and former Deputy Prime Minister Roman Giertych and businessman Ryszard K. have been detained by the Central Anti-corruption Bureau (CBA) on charges of siphoning €16.8 million out of a stock exchange company

The detention of Giertych and Ryszard K. is part of an ongoing investigation conducted by the CBA in Wrocław, under the supervision of the regional prosecutor’s office in Poznań, informed CBA spokesman Stanisław Żaryn. The investigation concerns harmful actions against a company listed on the Warsaw stock exchange (GPW).

According to CBA evidence, the detained men participated in an organized operation which siphoned money out of the company, as well as kept the funds and laundered them. 

According to new information obtained by portal wPolityce.pl concerning the CBA investigation, individuals associated with Roman Giertych’s law firm sold a property to a company owned by Ryszard K. for several times the property’s value.

Giertych’s closest associates bought a plot worth €1.45 million near Poznań, which was sold just eight days later to a company owned by Ryszard K. for €6 million.

In response to the charges, Giertych, the lawyer connected with Civic Platform (PO), claimed that his detention is a political move carried out by Law and Justice party (PiS) to cover-up the “epidemic catastrophe under their government”.

Giertych has not yet been transported to Poznań, as during the search of his villa by authorities, he fainted and was taken to hospital. CBA spokesman Stanisław Żaryn has noted that Giertych’s condition is “good” and that he is undergoing “routine” check-ups.

Roman Giertych is an important figure in Poland’s modern political history and is not just an attorney employed by Poland’s rich and powerful.

He was the leader of the ultra-conservative and pro-Church League of Polish Families (LPR) during the 2000s. His party first entered parliament in 2001 and in 2005 was able to gain enough MPs to forcibly join into a coalition with Law and Justice (PiS) and the populist “Self Defense”. The coalitionary government was headed by Jarosław Kaczyński as prime minister.

In 2007, due to disagreements with Kaczyński, Giertych was crucial in the breaking up of the coalition. PiS lost power in the following elections and both LPR and the “Self-Defense” lost all of their MPs and became irrelevant in Polish politics.

Since quitting politics, Giertych focused on his career as an attorney and has become much more left-leaning and supportive of the Civic Platform.

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