Warsaw court issues arrest warrant against two conservative deputies who have been pardoned by Poland’s president

Maciej Wąsik (L) and Mariusz Kamiński (R) together with Poland's President Andrzej Duda. (Source: prezydent.pl/J. Szymczuk/KPRP)
By Grzegorz Adamczyk
2 Min Read

A Warsaw court has ignored decisions by the Polish president, the Supreme Court, and the Constitutional Tribunal, and ordered former Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński and MP Maciej Wąsik to be detained and taken to prison to serve their sentences.

The court’s move on Monday came despite an inconclusive meeting held on the same day between President Andrzej Duda, who pardoned the two, and Sejm Speaker Szymon Hołownia, who last week decided to render the parliamentary mandates of the two Conservative (PiS) MPs null and void. 

President Duda has invited the two PiS MPs to meet him at the presidential palace on Tuesday. The president’s position is that the two have been pardoned by him and should therefore remain as MPs and not be imprisoned, despite a court ruling that the president’s pardon, which is the exclusive constitutional prerogative of the head of state, was invalid because it took place before the whole judicial process involving the two MPs had been completed.  

A Warsaw court in December of last year sentenced Kamiński and Wąsik to two years imprisonment and for them to be debarred from holding public office. This was confirmation of a conviction secured in 2015 for alleged abuse of power in instigating a sting against government officials.

President Duda pardoned the two in the same year even though they had appealed the prison sentences but, last year, one of the chambers of the Supreme Court ruled that the president’s pardon was invalid and ordered that the cases be returned to the Court of Appeal. 

The Court of Appeal upheld the conviction and, based on that verdict, Hołownia issued his ruling that the two deputies’ mandates had expired. However, the Supreme Court last week took a decision to overturn the speaker’s ruling, even though two different chambers of the court, Labour and Supervisory, have taken diverging positions on the issue. 

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