Delegations – revenge against inconvenient prosecutors?

Very interesting information is coming from the legal community. For it appears that “punitive” secondments of prosecutors from regional to district prosecutors’ offices (that is, two levels below) are no longer unlawful or unacceptable in a democratic state under the rule of law such as the Republic of Poland, and can be used against prosecutors who displease the current authorities.

Furthermore, the Minister of Justice – Prosecutor General Adam Bodnar was not too concerned about the doubts of the Ombudsman Prof. Marcin Wiącek regarding the revocation of the delegation of 144 prosecutors (The case of prosecutors recalled from delegation. Ombudsman asks MoJ for clarification,  This concerns the delegations of prosecutors dealing with the most serious crimes (including from the elite Cybercrime Department of the National Prosecutor’s Office, dealing with, among other things, international internet investigations).

The media also report on the case of Magdalena Kołodziej, a prosecutor in the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw, overseeing investigations into, among other things, the illegal takeover of public media or the so-called “windmill scandal”, who is to be immediately transferred to the District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw’s Praga-Południe district, thus “dropping” two levels lower.

So, lets hear what the leading politicians of the Civic Coalition had to say on the topic before they came to power. Mr. Borys Budka said:

“The actions against the prosecutors should be seen in terms of obvious harassment. This is revenge for the fact that they clearly speak about the politicization of the prosecutor’s office, it is also an attempt to intimidate the entire community, so that people who will not blindly follow the orders that are given to them from Warsaw know, that if they will not be obedient, will not discontinue certain proceedings or will not initiate those that are needed by the authorities, they may be affected by such decisions” (Budka: Action against prosecutors is obvious harassment,,budka-dzialania-prokuratorzy-szykana.html).

In turn, the announcement of the Office of the Ombudsman of 20 January 2021, when the position was still held by Adam Bodnar, reads:

 “The media points out that the institution of delegation has been used to discipline prosecutors for taking action to protect the independence of prosecutors and the prosecution service, speaking critically about the changes that have taken place in the prosecution service in recent years, as well as specific procedural decisions. Therefore, such a decision by the Prosecutor General may be seen primarily as a desire to have a chilling effect on other prosecutors” (Ombudsman intervenes in case of prosecutors posted several hundred kilometers away from home and children. Asks Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro,  

It is also worth mentioning the words of prosecutor Katarzyna Kwiatkowska of the Lex Super Omnia association, quoted in an article in Gazeta Wyborcza:

“Delegations have become a form of punishment. The public prosecutor’s office should investigate whether a crime has been committed” (Prosecutor Kwiatkowska: Delegations have become a form of punishment. The public prosecutor’s office should investigate whether a crime has been committed,,75398,30337411,niezalezna-prokuratura-powinna-zbdac-czy-doszlo-do-przestepstwa.html).

The consequences of “penal delegations” will be very serious. Among other things, many proceedings can be expected to be halted to the detriment of victims. Temporarily arrested suspects will not be happy either.

Such is the new reality in the Polish prosecutor’s office….