Justice minister wants immunity for people who defend themselves
PR dla Zagranicy
Poland's justice minister wants people who defend themselves from an attack to be immune under the law, even if they use more force than their assailant.
Zbigniew Ziobro. Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz.
Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, also Poland's Prosecutor General, on Friday ordered prosecutors to drop a case against a currency exchange owner.
The owner was mugged as he left work in February. His attackers took off with his backpack, which contained cash worth PLN 100,000.
The man fired his revolver at the muggers' getaway car. No one was injured in the shooting.
Some lawyers said the man had used excessive force because he was out of harm's way when he opened fire, but Ziobro said laws needed to be relaxed.
Ziobro said he wanted to give criminals a "clear signal" that they should be afraid should they attack people.
He also said: "We need people to know that if they are successfully defending themselves – even if they use methods that are more far-reaching than their attacker – they are protected by the law".
Ziobro added that people should not be held accountable for defending themselves.
A "necessary" amount of force can be used during self-defence, according to Poland's penal code but the law is vague.
Generally victims should use equal or lesser force compared to their attacker. This means a victim should not pull a gun on an unarmed assailant.
However, some amount of excessive force is permitted if self-defence is used to stop a trespasser on private property. (vb/pk)