MP Beata Sawicka exonerated of all corruption charges
The Supreme Court of Poland exonerated Beata Sawicka, former member of parliament affiliated with the ruling Civic Platform (PO) party, of all corruption charges in a high-profile case followed closely by Poles, the Polish media reported in March 2014.
“A democratically-ruled state cannot test its citizens’ honesty and their penchant toward crime […],” the Supreme Court’s verdict reads. The verdict also concluded that evidence in this case was collected illegally.
Beata Sawicka was caught on film in 2007 seen accepting a PLN 50,000 payment from an alleged businessman, who was actually a secret service agent. The CBA (Central Anti-Corruption Bureau) also detained Miroslaw Wadolowski, mayor of the city of Hel, on corruption charges.
The above-described situations were the finale of a secret operation planned and executed by the CBA throughout 2007 under the reign of the Law and Justice (PiS), currently the dominant opposition party.
As per the planned sting operation, a CBA agent, Tomasz Kaczmarek (now a member of parliament), was to impersonate a foreign businessman interested in acquiring a piece of land in the city of Hel for future investment. The businessman paid Beata Sawicka the PLN 50,000 allegedly for facilitating a meeting with the Hel mayor Miroslaw Wadolowski, and he also paid the mayor for an alleged promise to change the zoning plans for the land in question.
The exact moment of the sting operation in which Sawicka accepted the PLN 50,000 was caught on camera by the CBA. The audio-visual material was leaked to the television and broadcast on TVN channel. The clip is still available on Youtube.
In 2012 a court of first instance sentenced Sawicka to three years in prison for paid protection as well as for demanding and accepting a bribe. The court also deemed Wadolowski guilty and sentenced him to a two-years suspended sentence.
The verdict was appealed and a year later a court of second instance turned over the original sentences stating that the CBA applied illegal operational techniques and that it submitted Sawicka to surveillance illegally. The court deemed the collected evidence as invalid and exonerated both Sawicka and the mayor of all charges. The prosecution requested the cassation of the ruling by the Supreme Court, but the request was rejected.