The opposition is critical of the HR project at PK and the collaboration with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office

Enabling close cooperation between Polish investigators and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office is – according to the Ministry of Justice – the main aim of the draft amendments to the CCP discussed by the Sejm on Thursday. The proposal also applies to the staff of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office, which is criticized by the opposition. PSL has applied for the rejection of the project.

It concerns a draft amendment of the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Public Prosecution Act. Criticism of the opposition groups mainly refers to the brief provision on the Prosecutor’s Office Act, which states that “the appointment and dismissal of the director and deputy director of a department or office of the CUT and the head of the Department of the Interior , in addition to entrusting the performance of duties in this matter, falls under the exclusive competence of the National Public Prosecutor.”

“If anyone thinks that this short project is about the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, he is wrong. (…) This is about this article, which de facto deprives the Attorney General of any influence over the appointment of key positions at PK Why? they know very well in the Ministry of Justice that in a dozen months Zbigniew Ziobro will no longer be the Attorney General. This is only protection in case of loss of influence on PK,” said Arkadiusz Myrcha (KO).

Also Michał Szczerba of this party indicated that “the point is to put Ziobrowa’s hand on the CP and that in a year’s time, when he loses power, none of the PiS scandals will be explained”.

“This project is a huge concrete mixer that will pour cement to the people of Ziobro in PK. It’s all about securing their backs” – said Krzysztof Śmiszek (left).

Krzysztof Paszyk (KP-PSL), in turn, has filed a motion to reject the bill in first reading in a written statement.

Under the Public Prosecution Service Act “the National Public Prosecutor (…) and the other deputies of the Public Prosecutor are appointed from among the public prosecutors of the National Public Prosecutor’s Office and dismissed by the Prime Minister at the request of the Attorney General”. “The National Prosecutor and other deputies of the Prosecutor General are appointed after taking the advice of the President of the Republic of Poland, and dismissed with his consent” – is determined by law.

Deputy Justice Minister Marcin Warchoł responded to the opposition’s accusations. “The Public Prosecutor does not conduct an independent personnel policy today. Today, the National Public Prosecutor is responsible for all appointments. Each appointment and dismissal must be preceded by a motion from the National Public Prosecutor. Also regarding his deputies, the The Attorney General does not have a decisive role, because they are appointed by the Prime Minister…) Obviously, but you have not read the law “- he told the opposition. He added that the purpose of the added provision is to make it more precise in order to “eliminate doubts and potential disputes over jurisdiction”.

“I am sorry that the speeches of the opposition MPs are so insignificant. Again, you are dealing with Minister Ziobra and Solidarna Polska, you are making up imaginary visions” – judged Maria Kurowska (PiS).

The draft amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Public Prosecution Act by the Ministry of Justice was submitted to the Sejm at the end of June.

The main aim of the proposed amendment is to enable the Polish Public Prosecutor’s Office to work closely with the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, which was established a year ago. It deals with crimes related to fraud, corruption, money laundering and serious cross-border VAT fraud of more than €10 million.

So far, 22 EU countries have joined the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, but five have not – Sweden, Hungary, Poland, Ireland and Denmark.

Against this background, a problem arose, because according to Polish regulations, the possibility to use European legal instruments – for example the European Arrest Warrant, the European Investigation Warrant or the implementation of preventive measures – only in contacts with EU Member States. Currently, however, the Code of Criminal Procedure does not provide for the possibility to use EU instruments in relations with EU bodies.

Therefore, the proposed amendment includes the European Public Prosecutor’s Office “among entities authorized to conduct cross-border legal transactions” and should enable Polish prosecutors and courts to carry out its requests; it also introduces the possibility for Polish prosecutors and courts to apply to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office for the purpose of securing and transferring evidence in cases under its jurisdiction.

“Ahead of the assumptions that the problem might be solved by Poland’s accession to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, it should be borne in mind that the main argument against this is the question of granting too wide powers to the European Public Prosecutor’s Office, in particular solutions where the prosecution of VAT offenses falls under the exclusive competence of the Member States” – said Marek Ast (PiS).

This part of the project was criticized by Krzysztof Tuduj (Confederation). “The fundamental problem is that the European Public Prosecutor’s Office cares about the EU’s interests, and the EU in its current form is a cancerous tumor that successively swallows up Polish sovereignty,” he ruled.

In connection with the motion submitted to reject the bill in first reading, the Sejm will vote on the issue on Thursday evening.

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