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President slams removal of national prosecutor

13.01.2024 11:00
Poland’s president Andrzej Duda has criticised a decision by the justice minister to remove the national prosecutor from office, calling it a breach of law.
President Andrzej Duda delivering a statement on January 11th at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw.
President Andrzej Duda delivering a statement on January 11th at the Presidential Palace in Warsaw.Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

"Manning the post of national prosecutor is the responsibility of the prime minister and prosecutor general in collaboration with the president," Duda wrote on the X platform on Friday evening.

"The steps taken by [justice minister] Adam Bodnar without involvement from the prime minister and president is another violation of law,” he added.

"Minister Adam Bodnar is trying to remove Dariusz Barski from the post of national prosecutor despite having no individual competences to do this," Duda said, adding that Bodnar had handed over his decision to prosecutor Barski.

Earlier in the day, the Justice Ministry led by Bodnar, who also holds the post of prosecutor general, announced that, as of Friday, Barski is no longer the head of the National Prosecutor's Office.

"The return of Dariusz Barski to active service in 2022 was carried out without any legal basis," the ministry wrote in a statement.

"This means that, not being in active service, he does not meet the conditions to hold the post of national prosecutor," the ministry added.

Barski, who was the superior of all Polish prosecutors, had been returned to active service in 2022 by the former justice minister.

Poland appears to be in a political turmoil since pro-EU parties won a majority in October’s election, ending eight years of nationalist rule.

A new government led by former European Council president Donald Tusk has vowed to undo the policies of the previous nationalist administration and restore the rule of law in the country.

President Duda is an ally of the nationalist opposition and supporter of an aborted judicial overhaul that critics say undermined the independence of the courts and threw the whole system into disarray.


 Source: PAP