Polish judge caught stealing still receiving half-pay and bonus despite suspension for six years

The case shows how effective the judicial system in Poland is in defending judges, even if they were caught red-handed

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: niezalezna.pl

Robert W., the Polish circuit judge who was caught stealing pen drives from a store in 2017, has managed to earn half a million złoty (€110,000 euro) in six years and even received a bonus for his years of service, informs Gazeta Polska.

Despite having been tried for a penal code offense, Robert W. still remains a judge on a good salary. Each month he receives a check despite the fact that he is suspended and therefore not actually working. An attempt to end this extraordinary situation was foiled, as the judge in question avoided a key hearing when he was admitted into the hospital. 

The case of the judge from the city of Wrocław has been ongoing since February 2017. The evidence was overwhelming and included testimony by witnesses as well as footage from CCTV cameras. 

Robert W. was sentenced by a court and served with a suspended sentence and a fine. However, because of the way judicial immunity operates, he was not automatically suspended from the bench. A separate disciplinary hearing was necessary for this, which did ultimately take place in the Supreme Court, after which, the judge was indeed suspended.

However, Robert W. appealed that ruling, and the hearing for his appeal has been disrupted as a result of the judicial dispute over the existence of the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court, which has been raging between the European Commission and the Polish authorities. 

In the meantime, the judge’s salary has been cut in half, but he still receives 8,000 zloty (€1,700) per month, despite not working for the last six years. Moreover, on the 35th anniversary of becoming a judge, he received a bonus for his years of service of around 20,000 zloty (€4,250).

On Jan. 17, a hearing was finally to be held on Robert W.’s appeal. However, on Jan. 13, he was admitted to the hospital, so his case could not be heard. A date for another hearing has still not been set.

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