Senior Sergeant Mariusz Saczek arrives in court on crutches on Wednesday. Photo: PAP/Pawel Supernak
Senior Sergeant Mariusz Saczek fractured his spine in three places when the Wolverine armoured vehicle he was moving in drove over a mine and is suing the ministry for or 3 million zloty (over 700,000 euros).
The case goes before a Warsaw district court on Wednesday, with the former officer arguing among other complaints that it took the ministry three years to provide him with a wheelchair.
“The Wolverine that I flew up into the air in [after the explosion], cost 10 million zloty (2.4 million euros),” Saczek commented.
“And a wheelchair costs about 10,000 zloty (2400 euros). Should I really be making requests for it for three years?”
Although Saczek received some compensation from the Ministry of Defence, he claims that he had to pay for some of his rehabilitation from his own pocket.
Saczek spent two years in hospital, and in addition to his fractured spine, the Afghanistan incident damaged his liver and spleen, and severely affected his hearing.
The Ministry of Defence declined to reach an out-of-court settlement.
Commander Janusz Walczak commented that veterans are well provided for.
“The law on veterans allows for many opportunities, including that they don't have to wait in queues, and their treatment is paid for by the state, and so on,” he said.
To date, 43 Polish military personnel have died in Afghanistan.
Poland's forces in Afghanistan are timetabled to cease all combat operations by the close of 2014, in line with NATO's pull-out plans.
All in all, 25,000 Polish military personnel have served in Afghanistan since Poland joined the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in 2002.
About 40 percent of Poland's military equipment has already been removed from Afghanistan. (nh)