Nine more charged over property restitution in Warsaw
PR dla Zagranicy
Nine more individuals have been charged in an ongoing probe into a property restitution scandal in Warsaw, Poland’s justice minister has said.
Poland’s Justice Minister and Prosecutor-General Zbigniew Ziobro. Photo: PAP/Piotr Nowak
Zbigniew Ziobro told reporters on Monday that the charges included suspected corruption worth almost PLN 50 million (EUR 11.58 million, USD 13.32 million).
Ziobro, who is also Poland's prosecutor-general, said that the group aimed to take possession of real estate in Warsaw by unlawful means.
Prosecutor Michał Ostrowski said that a former Warsaw City Hall official who was a deputy director in charge of real estate management was among those indicted, alongside three lawyers and a former Justice Ministry employee.
Warsaw has lost billions as a result of mishandled restitution deals, a panel of MPs probing suspected reprivatisation irregularities in the Polish capital said on Monday.
Poland's Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) in December detained three Warsaw City Hall officials suspected of accepting bribes in exchange for approving property restitution and compensation claims, according to public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency.
The origins of the scandal date back to the seizure of property under the October 1945 Bierut Decree, named after former Polish communist leader Bolesław Bierut, which legalised the confiscation of private property.
Thousands of buildings were taken from their owners. After the fall of communism in Poland in 1989, it has been possible to submit claims for the return of such confiscated property.