Suspects charged in Polish chief of police killing after 14 years of investigation
Following 14 years of investigation. Polish prosecutors have charged two individuals with the killing of Gen. Marek Papała, the former commanding officer of the Polish Police.
Igor M. alias “Patyk” and Mariusz M. were charged with the killing, according to the Polish media and television news station TVN24.
“The killing of Marek Papala occurred during a robbery with an use of firearm,” Jaroslaw Szubert, spokesperson for the Appellate Procurator’s Office in Łódź and one of the prosecutors running the case, said. He added that perpetrators wanted to steal Papala’s car and the lethal shot was fired during the robbery.
In 2009, some leads in the investigation were passed from Prosecutors Office in Warsaw to Łódź prosecutors, and this was when new life was brought into the case. Prosecutors from Łódź managed to find a new witness out of the circle of people who had been linked to the investigation so far.
“I am able to confirm that [the witness] is Robert P,” Jaroslaw Szubert, said as cited by TVN 24.
Robert P. was a member of the car theft gang run by Igor M. He was present at the scene of murder as he was on the lookout while Patyk and Mariusz M. tied to steal Papała’s car. He started to cooperate with the police in February 2011, and shortly after was granted status as “crown witness.”
According to Szubert, Robert P. saw what happened.
“Patyk” and Mariusz M. threatened Papala with a gun to force him out of the vehicle, and when the general resisted Patyk shot him, the witness allegedly stated.
The theory that Papała was killed “accidentally” is a serious turn in one of the most intriguing Polish criminal investigation of last 14 years. Previously, investigators were inclined to a version that Papala killing was a part of a conspiracy and a struggle for power among Polish mafias, as the general was believed to be in possession of evidence, which could lead to an arrest of prominent mafia members responsible for drug trafficking and disruption of biggest organized crime groups in the country.
That said, recent developments were accepted with much reserve. Zbigniew Ziobro, the former Ministry of Justice, said during the TV show “Fakty po faktach,” that there are many people who would discredit Igor M.
Yet Igor M. has a status of ‘crown witness’ in other cases, and he is responsible for bringing some of most influential figures of Pruszkow, Wolomin and Nowy Dwor mafias, as well as a number of other corrupt policemen before the court.
Ziobro also added that Patyk was a car theft not a murderer. What is even stranger is the fact that Papała owned a Daewoo Espero, a middle-class car, while Patyk’s group rather aimed in top-shelf vehicles.
There is also little chance that someone as well connected to the Pruszkow Mafia would fail to recognize the police commander’s car.
Another disturbing fact is that ‘Patyk’s’ group did not carjack in the typical robbery fashion. The group’s favorite method was the so called ‘bumb’ involving an intentional collision with a car they wanted to steal. Mobsters would then throw out the driver and drive away.
The Papała killing became a thorn in the side for the Polish police and the Prosecutor’s office, as media and experts pointed out glaring mistakes of both. Criticism came also from the Ministry of Justice after the Warsaw Prosecutor’s Office was audited in 2008.
At the time of the audit, Robert Tarlasewski, prosecutor from Łódź, discovered that police never investigated a blood trace, which led from the scene of murder to one of the entrances to a horse racing track on Sluzewiec.