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A first investigation against Manowska of the Supreme Court to be conducted.

Mariusz Jałoszewski OKO.press
November 11, 2022


A first investigation against Manowska of the Supreme Court to be conducted.


An investigation involving acting First President of the Supreme Court Małgorzata Manowska has been started by the Regional Prosecutor's Office in Warsaw. This is a precedent-setting decision by the public prosecutor's office subordinate to Zbigniew Ziobro – Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General. Manowska is to explain her disregard of the court's ruling
This is the first investigation involving Małgorzata Manowska, a neo-judge acting as the First President of the Supreme Court. And perhaps the first such investigation involving a judge cooperating with the current government who disregards court rulings on judges illegally suspended by the Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court. It should be noted that the prosecution had previously refused to initiate proceedings at all in cases involving nominees of the current government.
The investigation concerning Małgorzata Manowska was started on 25th October 2022 by prosecutor Krystyna Adamczyk of the Regional Public Prosecutor's Office in Warsaw. The proceedings will be conducted of Manowska`s alleged committing an act under Article 231 of the Criminal Code, i.e. a failure to fulfil official duties. This is a so-called public officer`s crime, providing the punishment threatened by up to three years of imprisonment. The public prosecutor's office will examine - and assess from a legal point of view - why she disregarded the ruling of the Olsztyn Regional Court of 10 May 2021. The ruling concerned the claims of Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn of the Olsztyn District Court, who had been suspended by the illegal Disciplinary Chamber. Juszczyszyn and his attorney Professor Michał Romanowski challenged the Chamber's decision. The court in Olsztyn issued a security measure protecting his claims in May 2021. Under this measure Manowska, as acting First President of the Supreme Court, was obliged to place a note on the Supreme Court's website stating that the enforceability of the Chamber's decision on Juszczyszyn had been suspended by the court due to the process of declaring it unlawful. However, Manowska disregarded the order imposed by the Olsztyn court. And now the prosecutor will deal with the case. The investigation may end with Manowska facing criminal charges or it may be discontinued. But its initiation is anyway a major success for Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn and Professor Michał Romanowski, who is helping the judge fight against the decision of his suspension.
"The prosecution's decision is understandable in legal terms, but it is surprising. We live in such the times that the prosecutor's office, instead of upholding the rule of law and explaining, among other things, the transgression of powers by public officials, protects them as long as they are linked to the current authorities," Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn tells OKO.press. He adds: 'The prosecutor who took the decision to start an investigation showed courage. But it is clear that office-holders who do not comply with final court decisions will sooner or later be held accountable. And this case is an example of that. Despite the immensity of the lawlessness we have faced, I am optimistic about the future, because I know that we will prevail. And we will return to the path of the rule of law. I will not let go, I will have enough strength. I will consistently fight for the restoration of the law in our country. I have not been broken and I will not be broken."
This is not the end of the story. Prof. Michal Romanowski is not only fighting in the courts against the decision to suspend Paweł Juszczyszyn. He is also the attorney of another suspended judge Igor Tuleya. In his case, too, the ruling under which the judge should be reinstated is not being implemented. It is not being executed, among others, by the president of the Regional Court in Warsaw, Joanna Przanowska-Tomaszek, an appointee of Minister Ziobro's ministry. As a result, Prof. Michał Romanowski has just applied to the court for a 15,000 zloty fine to be imposed on her, with the fine being converted to an arrest if she continues to be inactive.
Without the reinstatement of all unlawfully suspended judges, Poland will not receive billions of Euros from the National Reconstruction Plan. We write about this later in the text.
How the court ordered the prosecution to investigate Manowska
Due to the fact that neither President Maciej Nawacki nor Małgorzata Manowska carried out the rulings Judge Juszczyszyn and Prof. Romanowski filed a number of complaints against them addressed to the Public Prosecutor's Office. Most of them were taken over by the National Public Prosecutor's Office and it refused to initiate proceedings, considering that the decision of the illegal Disciplinary Chamber, which has still not been revoked, is binding. The Public Prosecutor's Office does so despite the fact that the Chamber has already been abolished, and that it was illegal has been ruled many times by the CJEU and the ECtHR, but also by the Polish Supreme Court or the Supreme Administrative Court.
Juszczyszyn and Prof. Romanowski complained about the decisions not to prosecute and the courts quashed them, ordering investigations involving mainly Maciej Nawacki, but also Małgorzata Manowska. Investigations were ordered in various criminal threads concerning Juszczyszyn's return-to-work battle: Elbląg District Court, Kwidzyn District Court, Gdańsk-Północ District Court and twice the District Court for Warsaw-Śródmieście.
In May 2022, the Warsaw District Court ordered an investigation by the National Public Prosecutor's Office concerning Małgorzata Manowska's failure to execute the Olsztyn court's decision in the Juszczyszyn`s case and the failure to implement the CJEU's July 2021 judgment suspending the activities of the Disciplinary Chamber.
In turn, in August 2022, the capital's court overturned the decision of the Warsaw Regional Prosecutor's Office refusing to investigate Manowska, also for failing to comply with the Olsztyn court ruling. And it is most likely as a result of this latest court decision that the Warsaw Regional Prosecutor's Office has now opened an investigation into Manowska.
Court orders investigation into Manowska
Professor Michał Romanowski filed a complaint against this decision and the court recognised it in August 2022, overturning the prosecution's decision. Judge Anna Tyszkiewicz of the District Court for Warsaw -Śródmieście ruled that prosecutor Piasta had made an arbitrary, rather than free, assessment of the notification, thereby violating the Code of Criminal Procedure. The court emphasised that "there can be no doubt that, in view of the security granted, the obliged party [the First President of the Supreme Court - ed.] should respect the decision issued, otherwise it exposes itself to consequences in both civil and criminal law".
Judge Tyszkiewicz ruled that the prosecutor had misjudged the competence of the First President of the Supreme Court. Because the president represents the SN and it is he who is supposed to implement the court's ruling. The judge concluded that Manowska's statement was not an execution of the ruling. She emphasised that the Olsztyn court had not ordered her to interfere with the decision of the illegal Disciplinary Chamber in the security, but only to annotate the decision on the SN's website.
The prosecutor's reference to the order of the Minister of Justice was deemed unnecessary by the judge. All the more so since the minister has no authority to regulate the work of the Supreme Court. Therefore, the court overturned the decision of the prosecutor's office and ordered an investigation to be conducted in which, among other things, Manowska's motivation is to be determined.
The move is now on the part of prosecutor Krystyna Adamczyk of the Warsaw District Prosecutor's Office. She has opened an investigation, which is already a success. The question, however, is how it will end and whether Ziobry's prosecutor's office will allow her to pursue the investigation to the end, or whether it will take the case away from her and hand it over to someone else for quick discontinuation. But this discontinuation will be open to appeal.
Prof. Michał Romanowski, however, has no doubt that the investigation should end with an indictment against Małgorzata Manowska being sent to court. The professor tells OKO.press: "The initiation of proceedings means that, in accordance with the Code of Criminal Procedure, the prosecutor considered that the arguments presented made it plausible that the neo First President of the Supreme Court Małgorzata Manowska may have committed a crime by refusing to comply with a ruling ordering her to stamp a decision of the Disciplinary Chamber with the proviso that it was a non-existent decision." Romanowski added: "This case should end with charges and an indictment in court. It is a purely legal assessment and stems from the failure to implement final court decisions. This offence of abuse of power by a public official has already been expressed in five decisions of the criminal courts, which ordered the initiation of proceedings in my notifications to the prosecutor's office. I think the question of criminal liability is only a matter of time."
Ziobro's nominee faces fine or even arrest
Paweł Juszczyszyn is not the only one suspended judge fighting in the courts to return to adjudication. Judge Igor Tuleya of the Warsaw Regional Court, also unlawfully suspended by the Disciplinary Chamber, also wants to return to work. In March 2022, the Warsaw-Praga Regional Court issued a final security order reinstating him to work. But it was first disregarded by the then court authorities, namely the president Piotr Schab and his deputy Przemyslaw Radzik.
Complaints to the public prosecutor's office were also filed against them. Tuleya tried to be reinstated in August 2022 by the new president of the court, Joanna Przanowska-Tomaszek, but her decision was overturned by Schab and Radzik under administrative supervision, already as the newly promoted authorities of the Court of Appeal in Warsaw. Since then, Przanowska-Tomaszek has been blocking Tuleya's return to adjudication. Therefore, the judge's attorney Prof. Michał Romanowski applied for enforcement of the ruling. And the court gave the president seven days to execute the ruling. But she did not do so. So now Prof Romanowski has just applied to the court to impose a PLN 15,000 fine on her, with a change to custody, should she continue to disregard the court's ruling.
The fine will be severe, as Przanowska-Tomaszek will have to pay it out of her own pocket. Such a fine with a change to custody was previously imposed by the court on the president of the Olsztyn District Court, Maciej Nawacki, for blocking Judge Juszczyszyn's return to work. Separately, Judge Tuleya, along with Professor Romanowsk,i for blocking his return to work by Minister Ziobra's appointees, recently filed a complaint with the ECHR.
President Joanna Przanowska-Tomaszek will be in even more legal trouble. Because she is also blocking the return to work of another judge suspended by the illegal Chamber, Piotr Gąciarek, from the Warsaw Regional Court. He has been reinstated too. And the president is not enforcing it. That is why the judge, like Tuleya, applied for the enforcement of this ruling.
Because of Ziobro's people Poland does not get billions from the National Reconstruction Plan
The presidents of the courts appointed by Minister Ziobro, by not enforcing court rulings challenging the decisions of the Disciplinary Chamber to suspend judges, are blocking the payment of billions of euros to Poland from the National Reconstruction Plan. This is because their reinstatement is one of the conditions for the European Commission to unblock the funds.
The illegal Disciplinary Chamber has managed to suspend six judges for their rulings and for enforcing judgments of the ECtHR and the CJEU.
Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn from Olsztyn has already returned to adjudication. His over two-year suspension as unjustified was overturned by one of the last decisions of the late Disciplinary Chamber. Maciej Rutkiewicz from the Elbląg District Court also returned to work. His suspension had already been overturned by the new Professional Responsibility Chamber, which replaced the Disciplinary Chamber.
The other four suspended judges are awaiting a decision by the new Chamber. The cases of judges Piotr Gąciarek and Maciej Ferek were already on the docket in September 2022, but they were taken off. Because they had filed motions to exclude neo SN judges and Wieslaw Kozielewicz, who was then temporarily heading the new Chamber, from their cases. Judge Krzysztof Chmielewski is also awaiting the decision of the new Chamber. On the other hand, it is not known what will happen to Igor Tuleya. Because the decision on his suspension, although unlawful, has still not been repealed. This can be done by the new Chamber, taking up the case ex officio.

Original text _ oko.press