Polish Defence Minister Seeks Criminal Charges against Journalist for 'Coercion', 'Insult' over Exposé of Associates' Contacts

Update: 03 Aug 2017 State replied
Year 13 Jul 2017 Country Poland Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner IPI , Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , RSF Alert level Level 2
13 Jul 2017 Poland E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State IPI , Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , RSF Level 2

The military department of Poland’s National Prosecutor's Office confirmed it received a request from the defence ministry to investigate Gazeta Wyborcza journalist Tomasz Piątek for using “violence or illegal threats” and “public insults” against a “constitutional authority of the Republic of Poland” over Piątek’s book “Macierewicz and his secrets”, which focuses on Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz. The book, which was published in late June 2017, examines Macierewicz’s network of aides, collaborators and political associates. It accuses many of them of alleged contacts, both political and financial, with Russian entities close to the Kremlin, Russia’s military intelligence agency and the “Solntsevo” international criminal organisation. The ministry reportedly cited three Criminal Code provisions in seeking charges. Art. 244 prevents use of violence or an illegal threat to coerce a public official to undertake or abstain from legal official activity. It is punishable by up to three years in prison. Art. 226 imposes a fine or up to two years of imprisonment for publicly insulting or humiliating a constitutional authority of the Republic of Poland. Art. 231a extends to public officials who are unlawfully attacked because of their position the same legal protection that they would enjoy if attacked during or in connection with the performance of their public duties.

State replies


03 Aug 2017 : OSCE media freedom representative concerned about complaint filed against journalist by Poland’s Defence Ministry
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