Minister Tomasz Arabski - Former Chief of Staff in Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s Office to be indicted
SCND: February 5, 2016
Tomasz Arabski [right] with PM Donald Tusk (left)
The court refused to dismiss a lawsuit against officials organizing the flight to Smolensk. Among them, the former Chief of Staff in Donald Tusk’s Prime Minister’s Office, Tomasz Arabski.
The court refused to dismiss the civil lawsuit against 5 individuals brought up by families of victims who perished in the Smolensk catastrophe, for failure to carry out their responsibilities in organizing president Lech Kaczynski’s flight to Smolensk on April 10, 2010. This means that the trial of former head of the Prime minister’s Office (KPRM) Tomasz Arabski, and other officials, will resume. The trial is set for March 31, 2016.
The trial of other officials will be handled by a three-judge panel. The approach is motivated by complexity of the case and evidence, which in part is contradictory.
The review of evidence in this case is only possible via legal proceedings – pointed out Judge Hubert Gasior, speaking about his judicial decision.
The civil trial will proceed after it’s filed with the court. Earlier, the prosecutor’s office canceled the investigation twice. The office concluded, that despite existing inconsistencies with organization of flights, there was not enough evidence to bring forth any charges.
Investigation reveled “serious abuse” of policy, among others, the HEAD Status Procedures from 2009, by staff of KPRM, regarding management of special military air transport. These were not directly related to the organization of both visits from April 7 and April 10, 2010, but pertained to several procedures undertaken before the crash – we read in the court’s decision.
They resulted, among other things, in negligence to set limits on availability of military air transport to entitled subjects, of substandard maintenance and evidence keeping, or unjustified refusal of the air transport to entitled persons.
Staff’s familiarity with regulations, being part of the daily routine, has to be evaluated as poor. This is especially applicable to those staff members who were responsible for providing special military air transport, namely the Deputy Director of General Director’s Office, Monika B., and a Spokesman for the Director of KPRM in the General Director’s Office, Miroslaw K., stated the prosecution.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the responsibility rests on the shoulders of those officials, who were in charge of an oversight, “on KPRM chief, Tomasz Arabski, who, as it has been demonstrated, delegated his duties to those officials”. According to court’s opinion, “there were irregularities in the way Polish Embassy in Moscow prepared the visit and they came down to, on the one hand, to late and careless flow of information, or complete lack of communication between agencies and personnel involved in visit preparation, including the Russian, and on the other hand, the lack of adequate and immediate reaction to poor cooperation by the Russian counterparts”.
A glaring example of those irregularities was a delay caused by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (Pol. abbr. MSZ) Department of Foreign Affairs, in passing information to Russian officials of President Lech Kaczynski’s visit, or gigantic sluggishness by the Polish Embassy to obtain diplomatic permits to enter the Russian fly zone by charted planes, on April 7th and 10th. Despite of those findings, the prosecution found no basis to charge Arabski and other officials. Private plaintiffs were against the dismissal.
In their view, the responsible officials who organized the visit in Smolensk, should have been charged.
Among those indicted were Tomasz Arabski, (former Chief of Staff in the Prime Minister’s Office and recently recalled ambassador to Spain), two officials from that office – Monika B. and Miroslaw K. and two staff members from the Polish Embassy in Moscow – Justyna G. and Grzegorz C.
Private plaintiffs are relatives of the late Anna Walentynowicz, the late Bozena Mamontowicz-Lojek, Janusz Kochanowski, Slawomir Skrzypek and Zbigniew Wasserman - all of whom died in the tragic crash nearly six years ago. The indictment is supported by the Article 231, Paragraph 1 of Criminal Code, which allows for up to 3 years of imprisonment for negligence, and for failure to carry out the prescribed civil servant’s duties.
Source: KL, PAP
Photo by Niezalezna.pl
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