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World Prominent Polish lawyer and critic of government charged with fraud

18:15  17 october  2020
18:15  17 october  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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A prominent lawyer and outspoken critic of Poland ’s government was detained on accusations of money laundering on Thursday — and was later But, he added, “I understand the anticorruption services had grounds for detention.” Mr. Giertych was expected to be charged with “appropriating

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WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish prosecutors said on Saturday they had brought fraud charges against a prominent lawyer and former deputy prime minister who is a vocal critic of the government, and prohibited him from leaving Poland or practising law.

Roman Giertych holding a wine glass: FILE PHOTO: Deputy PM and Leader of League of Polish Families Giertych waits for government session at Chancellery of the Prime Minister in Warsaw © Reuters/Peter Andrews FILE PHOTO: Deputy PM and Leader of League of Polish Families Giertych waits for government session at Chancellery of the Prime Minister in Warsaw

Prosecutors also denied mistreating Roman Giertych, who fainted during his detention on Thursday and is currently defending billionaire bank owner Leszek Czarnecki, a thorn in the government's side who is suspected of cheating clients of his Idea Bank.

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Fraud , which refers to dishonestly cheating someone, is covered by both criminal and civil laws . To learn more on this and other topics, visit FindLaw's section on Criminal Charges . Only government prosecutors can bring criminal charges , but a victim of fraud can file a civil lawsuit.

In October 2003, he was arrested by Russian authorities and charged with fraud . The government under Russian president Vladimir Putin then froze shares of Yukos shortly thereafter on tax charges . Khodorkovsky also served as an economic adviser to the first government of Boris Yeltsin.

The Central Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA) said on Thursday that Giertych had taken part in a scheme to take money out of a company and launder funds, to the tune of more than 90 million zlotys ($23 million).

Giertych's lawyer said the charges were misplaced and that he would challenge them.

Civic rights ombudsman Adam Bodnar said on Thursday that the circumstances of Giertych's arrest raised "serious concerns".

Prosecutor Jacek Motawski told a press conference on Saturday that any suggestion that Giertych's "health condition ... resulted from unauthorised interference by the CBA officers" was "completely unfounded".

Giertych was also representing Czarnecki two years ago when the billionaire alleged that the head of the state financial regulatory authority, Marek Chrzanowski, appointed by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, had sought a bribe from one of Czarnecki's banks in return for protection. Chrzanowski has since been indicted on corruption charges.

In 2017, Giertych represented Donald Tusk, then European Council chairman, when Tusk testified in an investigation into former heads of military counter-intelligence (SKW) suspected of cooperating with foreign intelligence services without permission while Tusk was prime minister.In 2007, Giertych was leader of the far-right League of Polish Families while it was briefly in government with the PiS.

(Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko and Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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