Statement by Minister-Special Services Coordinator Mariusz Kamiński, Minister-Deputy Special Services Coordinator Maciej Wąsik and Head of Central Anti-Corruption Bureau Ernest Bejda

Statement by Minister-Special Services Coordinator Mariusz Kamiński, Minister-Deputy Special Services Coordinator Maciej Wąsik and Head of Central Anti-Corruption Bureau Ernest Bejda.


Warsaw, 6 February 2019

Statement

Further to the imputations that have been made in the public space for several months now concerning our alleged involvement in the criminal practice of reprivatisation in Warsaw, we hereby declare that:

                The officers of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) subordinate to us are currently conducting about 70 investigations under the supervision of the Prosecutor’s Office in cases related to the crimes connected with reprivatisation of property in Warsaw. They concern about 200 properties in Warsaw. The value of damages in this regard was estimated at over PLN 3 billion. 40 persons were arrested and charged in connection with the ongoing proceedings. Assets in the amount of PLN 138 million were secured, including PLN 43 million in cash, movables and securities and approximately PLN 95 million in immovable property.  Among the persons detained by the CBA were: Jakub R., his parents: Alina D. and Wojciech R. as well as the Warsaw’s lawyer Robert Nowaczyk and his sister Marzena K.

It is Jakub R., detained by the CBA, who is the initiator of the imputations made at our address. While in detention, starting in autumn 2017, Jakub R. sent out information on the alleged participation of Mariusz Kamiński, Maciej Wąsik, Ernest Bejda and a CBA officer in crimes related to the reprivatisation of property in Warsaw to many public institutions and the media. He accused us, inter alia, of persuading him to commit the reprivatisation crimes, which would result in financial benefits for the Law and Justice (PiS) party, and also of persuading him to give false testimonies against Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, the then President of the Capital City of Warsaw. He claimed that in return he would receive protection and would not be held responsible for the crimes committed. According to Jakub R. and his brother, we were also supposed to arrange a job for Jakub R. in the Real Property Management Office of the Capital City of Warsaw. To make his version of events more plausible, Jakub R. introduced himself as our good friend, using the fact that his brother Marcin Rudnicki is acquainted with Maciej Wąsik. For greater media interest, Jakub R. also presented false information and insinuations of moral nature, which have never occurred. Such actions of Jakub R. are also his line of defence in a case, in which he was charged and in which the court decided to remand him in custody for almost 2 years. In October 2017, Jakub R. notified the Prosecutor’s Office that we had committed the above mentioned crimes.

Therefore, we declare that:

The brother of Jakub R. Marcin Rudnicki and Maciej Wąsik attended the same class in secondary school and then enrolled in the same programme at the University of Warsaw. During their studies, they both were activists in the Independent Students’ Association, which was where Marcin Rudnicki met one of the heads of the Independent Students’ Association – Mariusz Kamiński, and later also Ernest Bejda. Maciej Wąsik was a friend of the brother of Jakub R., but not Jakub R. himself, whom he obviously knew, just like the parents of both brothers – Alina D. and Wojciech R. Closer social contacts between Marcin Rudnicki and Maciej Wąsik and Ernest Bejda had ended a few years before the detention of Jakub R. Mariusz Kamiński, on the other hand, never maintained a closer relationship with Jakub R. or his family. The last time he saw him was about 10 years ago. We would like to stress that during our acquaintance with Marcin Rudnicki we had no knowledge of the criminal activity of his brother – Jakub R.

A breakthrough moment in the investigations concerning Warsaw’s reprivatisation was the comprehensive audit conducted in the Warsaw City Hall by the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau. The audit started in April 2016 as a result of a joint decision of the Minister-Special Services Coordinator Mariusz Kamiński and the Head of CBA Ernest Bejda. The CBA’s inspection covered 56 reprivatised tenement buildings. The inspections ended in notifying the Prosecutor’s Office about the crimes committed and transferring collected evidence.

                In May 2016, the media revealed a material showing irregularities in the reprivatisation of a plot located at ul. Chmielna 70. Afterwards, in June 2016, Jakub R. reported himself to a CBA officer, whom he knew through his brother, to present an offer for secret cooperation with the CBA. This cooperation was to concern the reprivatisation in Warsaw. After several meetings, it became clear to the CBA officers that the only motivation for Jakub R. to start cooperation was to avoid criminal liability for the crimes he committed. The meetings of CBA officers were documented on an ongoing basis. The last contact with CBA officers was in September 2016.  The interview, during which Jakub R. explains to the officers how he had started working in the Real Property Management Office in 2016, comes from this period:

CBA agent: You held a key position in the Real Property Management Office and, generally, in the City Hall. You were a young man who was thrown in at the deep end. Because, I guess you did not have experience, I mean, administrative experience, right?
Jakub R.: I was a senior official, I’ve worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for a few years.
CBA agent: But here, in local government administration?
J.R.: Yes, the local government
CBA agent: I don’t know if you remember, but you probably do, who made you an offer, who recommended you for this position?
J.R.: The situation is, let’s say, quite trivial. At that time, I was running, or co-running a club in Nowy Świat Street. As it was a meeting spot for, let’s say, people from public and local government administration met, a friend Mr. Bajko also used to come there. Today I call him a friend. And because we have been running the club for nearly three years, these talks, as it is easy to guess, often lasted for many hours, and one day it turned out that he was looking for a deputy. And since the issue of this unfortunate club – we could talk a lot about it – at some point became, as I’d call it, unprofitable (...), I simply said one day: well, because it all started to get worse anyway, I said I would try. And that’s how it all started
. [an excerpt from a recorded conversion between Jakub R. and CBA officers]

Marcin Bajko, the director of the Real Property Management Office of the Capital City of Warsaw, was interviewed in this respect and confirmed that the employment of Jakub R. was the result of their personal acquaintance.

I found out that he was looking for a job and we just talked. [...] Gradually, we began to discuss the duties of the deputy director. [...] The assumption was to hire one person for a trial period – a month or two – and then announce a competition. If this candidate performed best, he or she would be elected. [...] But R. won this competition, I remember well. In the committee, apart from me, there was one of the employees and probably Mr. Derdziuk. [...] I did not talk to Mariusz Kamiński or Maciej Wąsik about employing Jakub R. [protocol of the personal hearing of M. Bajko].

Moreover, the chairman of the committee deciding on the employment of Jakub R. as the Deputy Director of the Real Property Management Office – Zbigniew Derdziuk, the then Secretary of the Capital City of Warsaw, stated in his testimonies that he did not remember anyone recommending or pushing him to employ Jakub R.

On 30 January 2017 r, the results of the CBA’s comprehensive audit coupled with operational and investigative findings allowed to arrest and charge, inter alia, Jakub R., his parents Alina D. and Wojciech R., and Warsaw’s lawyer Robert Nowaczyk. The court decided to keep all these persons in pre-trial detention.

During his stay in investigative custody, on 5 April 2017, Jakub R. submitted a handwritten note to the protocol of the hearing, which read as follows:

We are all well aware of the fact that it is not me or my family who are the target of this game whose driving force today is the reprivatisation in Warsaw. It’s about hunting down Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz and the Civic Platform party (PO), and I can offer a substantial contribution to the process. It should be pointed out that I was one of the persons with whom Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz consulted on various complex issues. There were times when it seemed that I was never leaving her office at all. So I know that my help could be invaluable in this regard. My conviction is all the greater, because the slogan wild reprivatisation no longer arouses such emotions and will be exhausted. Its further exploitation, even with the help of the verification committee, will not result in a significant drop in support for Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz, or in any event not to the extent expected. And all the more so as Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz has already gotten rid of inconvenient people and has remained beyond suspicion today. She will also succeed in weakening the Noakowski’s case. However, thanks to the new “shocking” information coming from a former high-rank official with whom she closely cooperated, the struggle for the city will gain new, completely different dynamics. In exchange for my involvement, I would just like me and my mother and father to be released from custody after the ongoing period of 3 months. Once again, I would like to stress that it is not about changing or withdrawing the charges, but solely about not having the custody period extended. As regards the proceedings conducted by the Prosecutor’s Office and the prosecutors themselves, the courts of second instance have already confirmed the validity of the findings and conclusions, maintaining the pre-trial detention order in force. Therefore, what Mr. Kaczyński and Minister Ziobro had said at the press conference about the reprivatisation mafia in Warsaw was confirmed. If we are released from custody after these 3 months, this will only prove the efficiency of the Prosecutor’s Office’ actions. In this context, both the public opinion and the media will not only be calmed down, but also satisfied that justice has been done, at least at this stage. [...] With regard to the proceedings themselves and their so-called correctness, it is enough to contact the CBA. The services of Minister Bejda, which for months have been conducting operational activities aimed at us, will confirm that there had been no question of any kind of concealment. If we were to hinder anything, we would have done it already in May 2016, following the publication of the first article by Wyborcza. In summary, by accepting the above, all parties will see concrete benefits:

– the leadership, because they gain an important ally in the fight against Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz and PO;

– the Prosecutor’s Office, because its actions contributed to gaining this ally, and its efficiency will be praised in the media;

– we, because although we are suspects, we get to go home.

As regards the extent and manner of my involvement, it will remain to be agreed jointly. From my backyard I can say, among other things, that:

– she was fully aware of the problems in the Decree;

– she knew that it was necessary to pass a law that would put an end to the activity of curators, but neither she nor PO were interested in doing so at all;

– she was aware that the Decree affected communal tenants the most and despite dozens of appeals from our side, neither she nor PO had done anything about it for years;

– neither she nor PO were interested in what was known as the big reprivatisation act contrary to what they claim today;

– the only task of the Real Property Management Office was to ensure the biggest returns possible as fast as possible, without looking at social costs, and the slow-downs were to occur only before parliamentary and local elections, etc.

At the same time, I’d like to express my conviction that during our joint activities, there would emerge a good subject for a new committee, but this time a committee of inquiry, especially as Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz has hurt many people over the last year...

The Prosecutor’s Office did not accept Jakub R.’s proposal and did not agree to apply non-custodial measures in exchange for – as Jakub R. wrote in the note quoted above – him giving a testimony for the purpose of hunting down Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz and PO.

This was probably the reason why a few months later, in August 2017, the brother of Jakub R., Marcin Rudnicki, asked Maciej Wąsik to meet with him. During the meeting, Marcin Rudnicki, on behalf of his brother and mother, proposed that Jakub R. would testify against President Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz on a condition that he and his family would be released from custody, and also that his mother Alina D. would pass on information to investigators about drug transfer channels from Central America to Poland. Maciej Wąsik documented the meeting and sent a note to the CBA, from where it was forwarded to the Prosecutor’s Office conducting the investigation.

As a result of the CBA and the Prosecutor’s Office rejecting the proposal to charge Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz in exchange for releasing Jakub R. and his family from custody, Jakub R. switched sides and on 10 October 2017, he submitted a notice to the Prosecutor’s Office informing about the crimes committed by Mariusz Kamiński, Maciej Wąsik, Ernest Bejda and an indicated CBA officer to whom he had turned in June 2016 with a declaration of cooperation. Simultaneously, Jakub R. started sending denunciations from the custody to many public institutions and the media containing imputations against the above-mentioned people.

                In connection with Jakub R.’s notice, the Prosecutor’s Office initiated criminal proceedings. In the course of the proceedings, the Prosecutor’s Office conducted an in-depth analysis of the denunciations sent by Jakub R. and the information disseminated by his brother Marcin Rudnicki through the media.  On 20 April 2018, the Prosecutor’s Office discontinued the proceedings on the account of lacking attributes of an offence. In the justification to the decision to discontinue the proceedings, the Prosecutor’s Office indicated that: Both Jakub Rudnicki and his immediate family, including his wife Agnieszka Rudnicka and brother Marcin Rudnicki, express resentment towards their old circle of acquaintances that they had not been in fact informed about the criminal actions planned against Jakub Rudnicki and his parents, including about the pre-trial detention.

It is significant that the notifying Jakub R. himself repeatedly refused to testify as a witness under pain of criminal liability in this case, claiming that, these subjects I will discuss in front of cameras. He as well refused to participate in a hearing or, as we read in the justification to the discontinuance, to provide any details, including those enabling the individualisation of the criminal behaviour allegedly undertaken against him by four public officials with regard to the events described by him.

                On 31 January 2019, suspect Robert Nowaczyk testified before the Committee for the verification of reprivatisation process in Warsaw. He was arrested together with Jakub R. by CBA officers in January 2017 and then he was subject to pre-trial detention. The Prosecutor’s Office made a number of corruption charges against him in the case of Warsaw’s reprivatisation, including the accusation of giving financial benefits to Jakub R. and his mother Alina D. in the amount of not less than PLN 21.5 million. During the proceedings, Nowaczyk decided to provide detailed explanations, admitted to the acts he was accused of and undertook extensive cooperation with the Prosecutor’s Office.  In August 2018, Nowaczyk was released from custody on bail of PLN 1 million.

In his testimony before the Committee, Robert Nowaczyk formulated many accusations against Mariusz Kamiński, Maciej Wąsik and Ernest Bejda. He pointed out, among other things, that as a result of their actions, Jakub R. became the Deputy Director of the Real Property Management Office in Warsaw in order to “clear” the case of claims concerning the land belonging to the company Srebrna. What is more, he was to look for dirt on President Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz. Robert Nowaczyk also claimed that he had received an offer from Jakub R. to transfer 30 per cent of his benefits gained as a result of reprivatisation, which would ensure him protection from the services.

When giving his testimony before the Committee, he stressed on several occasions that his knowledge came from what he had heard from Jakub R. and that he was testifying under oath. He himself has never witnessed a conversation between Jakub R. and CBA officers or other situations described by him extensively before the Committee, related to Mariusz Kamiński, Maciej Wąsik or Ernest Bejda. It should be added that Jakub R. was released from custody on bail of PLN 2.5 million in January 2019, before the date of the Robert Nowaczyk’s personal hearing. The way Robert Nowaczyk, a long-standing lawyer, presented the information, i.e. from hearing, protects him from possible criminal liability for making false statements.  Earlier, during numerous personal hearings in the Prosecutor’s Office, Robert Nowaczyk did not say a single word about his knowledge of the alleged criminal activities of Mariusz Kamiński, Maciej Wąsik and Ernest Bejda. It was only after his release from custody, when Jakub R. was also released, that Robert Nowaczyk gave the testimony referred to above for the first time. When he was giving testimony before the Committee, which was broadcast by the mass media, he also spread false, defamatory accusations about Mariusz Kamiński – also heard from Jakub R.  

The people against whom criminal charges were pressed in cases which have caused immense harm to other people and great damage to public property create, in the exercise of the right of defence, a picture of events which is contrary to the truth and obvious facts. All imputations and violations of personal rights, reproduced thoughtlessly by some media, arouse our strong opposition and will find an adequate legal response.

                We firmly state that no defamatory accusations will diminish our determination to fight criminals, regardless of their acquaintances or party affiliation. 

Minister-Special Services Coordinator – Mariusz Kamiński

Deputy Minister-Special Services Coordinator – Maciej Wąsik

Head of the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau – Ernest Bejda

 

 


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