Ziobro conducted a prosecutor’s and media lynch on Judge Beata Morawiec
Ewa Ivanova, Gazeta Wyborcza, 12 October 2020
Link to the original publication in Polish:
The PiS regime is moving from the preparation and hounding phase to action – the professional elimination of judges and prosecutors who are desperately defending the remnants of the independence of the judiciary in Poland. This is a legal polexit.
Can a trial be made into a setup, a caricature of the proceedings? A directed show in the theatre in which puppets in the courtroom only play a predetermined script?
Can the presumption of innocence be deleted?
Is it possible to turn a respected judge fighting for the independence of the judiciary and his own dignity into a criminal and a bribe?
Yes, of course.
Zbigniew Ziobro, together with PiS, has built a mechanism which is able to destroy any opponent. The system was successfully tested for the first time on Judge Beata Morawiec from Kraków. Compared to Zbigniew Ziobro’s first term of office, the system of destroying opponents (existing or imagined) has been decidedly improved. The new weapon can be used on a large scale.
What is needed for the destructive machine to work? The recipe is simple.
- First, you need a prosecutor’s office that is blindly subservient to the politician, Zbigniew Ziobro. Therefore, a special investigative department was created for PiS at the highest level of the National Prosecution Office, lavishly pampered with promotions and financial awards.
- A disciplinary commissioner for judges is also needed, who owes his entire professional promotion to the politician, Zbigniew Ziobro, and will willingly lend a hand to destroy other judges. Commissioner Przemysław Radzik willingly plays this role.
- In addition, the neo-NCJ, which is a shell of the former body guarding the independence of judges, must be established.
- There is also a need for a special pseudo-court composed of former prosecutors, Zbigniew Ziobro’s most faithful soldiers, or lawyers buttering PiS up, namely the Disciplinary Chamber.
- The secret services operating on the orders of politicians and state television which is subordinated to a politician, who is willing to broadcast controlled “leaks” from the law enforcement agencies also constitute an important element of the system.
All these tools were used to strike at Judge Morawiec.
This was Ziobro’s private revenge – but not only.
On Monday, under the cover of night – in a closed session, hidden from the public and the media – the Disciplinary Chamber, and therefore not a court, announced that it was lifting the immunity of the rebellious president of the Themis association. The judge is to be removed from adjudicating and to lose half of her salary. If Mr. Adam Tomczyński’s decision becomes final, Judge Morawiec will be professionally and privately destroyed in front of our eyes. She will be deprived of the right to a defence, to a fair trial. Because the prosecutor will press charges against her and he will then grill her for centuries. Because why should he go to court with an indictment? After all, the point is not to catch the rabbit, but to chase it. It is about a prosecutor’s and media lynch that is to take place here and now. That a judge should not be able to clear himself of absurd accusations – accepting a mobile phone or failing to prepare an analysis that was ordered.
It was no accident that Judge Morawiec was targeted by Zbigniew Ziobro’s people. She is one of the main faces in the fight for judicial independence. She won against Ziobro in court. She publicly humiliated the head of the Ministry of Justice and the prosecutor general: he had to come to court and explain himself. He also got a sound whipping in an unfavorable judgment.
But Judge Morawiec’s case is not just private revenge. This is a message to other judges: if you stand up and oppose the changes, you will end up like Morawiec. Haters supporting the Ministry of Justice are already taking a poll on Twitter – “who will be suspended next?”. “Next in line are Markiewicz, Frąckowiak, Gąciarek and Tuleya” (judges from Iustitia defending independence).
PiS is cocking a snook at the European Union.
And these are not empty threats. The PiS regime enters a new phase of the fight against judges. From the stage of preparation and lynching to deeds – the professional elimination of judges and prosecutors who are desperately defending the remnants of the independence of the judiciary in Poland. Any judge or prosecutor who has opposed the authorities can be next.
PiS is openly showing that it can cock a snook at the EU bodies. That cares little for the European Commission’s complaints and the CJEU’s judgments. The Disciplinary Chamber created by PiS is adjudicating, even though it was frozen by the EU’s court in April. It is true that the freeze applied to disciplinary cases of judges. But even a law student knows what an “a minori ad maius”, namely “from smaller to larger”, interpretation is. If someone is not allowed less, then he will not be allowed more. If the Disciplinary Chamber cannot act in disciplinary cases of judges, it cannot adjudicate in more sensitive cases, namely those related to criminal proceedings and therefore it cannot lift the immunities of judges and prosecutors.
However, what was obvious to the former First President of the Supreme Court, Małgorzata Gersdorf, is no longer obvious to Małgorzata Manowska, who is allowing the Disciplinary Chamber to act despite the CJEU ruling. That is why the current First President of the Supreme Court is responsible for the fact that a non-judicial body is not only trampling the law, but is also running over particular judges. It is Manowska who is responsible for the fact that the Disciplinary Chamber is brazenly questioning the judgments of the CJEU in its rulings.
At the end of September, the Disciplinary Chamber issued a decision in which a shocking statement was made: last year’s November judgment of the CJEU, which became the basis for the Supreme Court’s resolution declaring that the Disciplinary Chamber is not a court, “cannot be considered binding under the Polish legal order.” The judgment of the CJEU – according to the non-judicial body – is not applicable in Poland. This is pure anarchy. This – like the case of Judge Morawiec – is evidence of legal polexit taking place in front of our very eyes.
 This applies to the period 2005–2007, when PiS was in power for the first time and Zbigniew Ziobro served as the Minister of Justice (translator’s note)