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Court administrators sacked amid corruption probe

PR dla Zagranicy
Victoria Bieniek 27.11.2017 14:36
Three court presidents and seven court directors from southern Poland have been sacked amid a Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) corruption probe, the justice ministry has said.
Zbigniew Ziobro. Photo: P Tracz/KPRM (Public Domain)Zbigniew Ziobro. Photo: P Tracz/KPRM (Public Domain)

The dismissals come after a new law was passed giving the justice minister significant powers to appoint and dismiss judges to district and regional courts.

Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said that a “network, preying on the Polish judiciary” had been set up, adding that it was using court assets “in ways that had nothing to do with the justice system” and that it “fraudulently took … tens of millions of zlotys”.

He accused the presidents of failing to supervise their courts.

The justice ministry in a statement said that a regional court in Kraków took an especially long time of two-and-a-half years to resolve criminal cases while land registration by the court took six months, compared to the national average of about one month, which he said “threatened secure [property] trade”.

The ministry’s statement also said a regional court in the southern city of Nowa Huta was ranked 311th of 318 in the country because it took one-and-a-half years to hear civil cases.

The CBA also detained ten people in connection to suspected corruption in a Kraków appeals court.

On 12 August, a new law entered into force in Poland giving the justice minister significant powers to appoint and dismiss judges to head courts.

During a six-month transitional period, the justice minister can dismiss court presidents and vice-presidents without limitation.

(vb/pk)

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