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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish ex-gov’t minister charged with corruption

21.07.2020 12:30
A former Polish government minister who went on to land a state job in neighbouring Ukraine has been charged with masterminding a massive bribery and graft scheme involving road construction projects in that country, a spokeswoman for Warsaw prosecutors said on Tuesday.
Mirosława Chyr, spokeswoman for the District Prosecutors Office in Warsaw, talks to reporters on Tuesday.
Mirosława Chyr, spokeswoman for the District Prosecutor's Office in Warsaw, talks to reporters on Tuesday.Photo: PAP/Wojciech Olkuśnik

Mirosława Chyr made the announcement after the former transport minister and lawmaker was detained a day earlier by Poland’s Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) in a joint probe with Ukrainian investigators amid suspicion of multiple white-collar crimes.

The charged official, who has been identified only as “Sławomir N.” under Polish privacy laws, served as transport minister from 2011 to 2013 in Poland’s former coalition government led by his Civic Platform (PO) party.

He then headed Ukraine’s State Road Agency (Ukravtodor) from 2016 to 2019.

Sławomir "N.," who was once a right-hand man to Polish centrist Prime Minister Donald Tusk, was charged with “managing an organised criminal group that benefited from corruption,” according to Chyr, who is spokeswoman for the District Prosecutor's Office in Warsaw.

Chyr told reporters on Tuesday that Sławomir "N." is suspected of receiving more than PLN 1.3 million (EUR 293,000, USD 335,000) in personal gain in return for illegitimately awarding contracts to private businesses for the construction and repair of roads in Ukraine.

He is also suspected of “laundering money from corruption crimes,” Chyr said.

She added that the charges “concern the period from October 2016 to September 2019 when the former Polish government minister headed the Ukrainian State Road Agency Ukravtodor.”

Sławomir "N." is seen escorted into a car after facing prosecutors in Warsaw on Tuesday. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara Sławomir "N." (right) is seen being escorted into a car after facing prosecutors in Warsaw on Tuesday. Photo: PAP/Marcin Obara

Two other suspects have also been charged in the case, Chyr told reporters.

Both are accused of being part of an organised criminal group as well as of money laundering and accepting financial gain, she said.

The two men have previously been named as “Dariusz Z.,” a former commander of Poland’s elite GROM special forces unit, and “Jacek P.,” a businessman based in the Baltic city of Gdańsk.

All three suspects have denied the charges against them, Chyr told the media.

Sławomir "N." could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted, broadcaster TVP Info reported.

(gs)

Source: PAP, IAR, TVP Info