I am a European judge, I am not going to accept the decision of the Disciplinary Chamber and will continue to adjudicate - says judge Igor Tuleya

On November 18, 2020 at 12:00 AM in Warsaw, a meeting of the political Disciplinary Chamber is to be held in order to waive the immunity of judge Igor Tuleya. The proceedings against Judge Tuleyi are an example of a gross disregard for the ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU and the actions taken by the European Commission. Judge Tuleya is pursued because, he rendered the verdict, which is not convenient for politicians.

Let us remind all that on June 9, the political Disciplinary Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled on the judge's immunity once, refusing to waive the immunity. Following a complaint from the prosecutor's office, the case will now be examined by the three-member panel of this Chamber, who has already adjourned twice,

Judge Igor Tuleya is being prosecuted in connection with a ruling in which he ordered the prosecutor's office to explain the irregularities during the parliamentary vote in December 2016, committed by MPs from the ruling party in Poland.

Judge Igor Tuleya predicts that his immunity may be waived and he will be suspended from his judicial duties.

“No political court can take me away from ruling. I am a European judge, I am not going to accept the decision of the Disciplinary Chamber and will continue to adjudicate. European law cannot yield to lawlessness. " - says judge Igor Tuleya.

“The case of Igor Tuleya is an example of what the political disciplinary system is for. A judge is being prosecuted for a judgment given. Such a decision of the Disciplinary Chamber is not only the lifting of the judge's immunity, but it also suspends the judge from the possibility of adjudicating. For this reason, such decisions issued by the Disciplinary Chamber violate the ruling of the Court of Justice of the EU. Will the European institutions be awakened only by arresting a judge in the courtroom for his sentence? " - asks prof. Krystian Markiewicz, Chair of Iustitia.

On November 18, judges throughout Poland in gesture of solidarity with Judge Tuleya will join the Internet action sending their photos taken in the front of their court buildings. At 11:30 AM a demonstration to support judge Tuleya is scheduled. Due to epidemic restrictions, however, the number of people that would join is limited. Judges Pawel Juszczyszyn and Igor Tuleya will be present. Judge Tuleya is not going to attend the hearing as he is not respecting the Chamber`s activity.

Context

Igor Tuleya - born in 1970, member of the Polish Judges Association "Iustitia", since 2010 a judge of the Regional Court in Warsaw, adjudicating in criminal cases.

The motion to waive Igor Tuleya’s immunity is related to his ruling on the so-called voting in the Column Hall. Opposition MPs alleged that their access to this hall was hindered.

Judge Tuleya indicated to the National Prosecution Office that it prematurely discontinued the investigation of the case. Tuleya remarked that the investigation materials showed the counting reports had been modified and ordered the National Prosecution Office to assess whether some MPs from the ruling party PiS (Law and Justice) had given false testimony in this case. The court hearing was open to the public. After the decision was announced, the National Prosecution Office headed by the Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro decided to accuse Judge Tuleya of disclosing a secrets of the investigation.

On the other hand, the investigation into the voting in the Column Hall was discontinued once more.

Currently, the only person prosecuted by the Prosecutors Office in connection with this case is the judge who has pointed out irregularities in the operations of the politically managed National Prosecution Office.

The Disciplinary Chamber is to rule on waiving Tuleya’s immunity. This chamber was established in its entirety by the so-called neo-National Council of the Judiciary (neo-NCJ).

The neo-NCJ was created solely by the Polish Sejm. The 25-person NCJ now includes 15 judges who mostly received court president appointments by the current Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro. In recent years, the NCJ has not even once defended the independence of the judiciary against political pressure.

The members of the Disciplinary Chamber were appointed in a competition after several minutes of conversation. They are mainly prosecutors and close associates of Zbigniew Ziobro. Other people participating in this competition were deprived of the possibility of appeal. This resulted in a complaint from the European Commission to the CJEU to suspend the operation of the Disciplinary Chamber. However, the Disciplinary Chamber adjudicates in cases to waive immunity and ignores the CJEU ruling. The Disciplinary Chamber’s ruling in Tuleya’s case may be the first political trial of a judge in post-communist Poland

The first motion to waive immunity was rejected; however, on 5 October 2020, the Disciplinary Chamber will examine the National Prosecution Office’s appeal against this decision.

Proceedings conducted by the National Prosecution Office, Department of Internal Affairs

February 14, 2020: motion to adopt a resolution to waive Tuleya’s immunity by the National Prosecution Office who seeks to charge with the following: “on December 18, 2017, in Warsaw, as a public official, a judge of the District Court in Warsaw, publicly failed to fulfill his official duties by allowing representatives of the mass media to record images and sound during a court session.”

June 9, 2020: the Disciplinary Chamber declined the motion in a resolution.

June 16, 2020: the National Prosecutor's Office, Department of Internal Affairs, filed a complaint.

November 18, 2020: the Disciplinary Chamber will recognize the complaint.

Proceedings against judge Igor Tuleya conducted by Disciplinary Commissioners Przemysław Radzik and Michał Lasota

August 9, 2018: Judge Tuleya is called upon to submit “a written statement regarding the comment for the TV program Fakty po faktach (Facts after facts).

August 14, 2018: Judge Tuleya is called upon to submit “a written statement regarding the possible dissemination of investigation information regarding the vote in the Column Hall to the public and without permission.”

September 5, 2018: Judge Tuleya is summoned as a witness “in the case of exceeding the freedom of public expression available to a judge during the PolandRock Festival.”

September 21, 2018: Judge Tuleya is summoned as a witness “in the case of the request of the District Court in Łódź to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling.”

October 8, 2018: Judge Tuleya is called upon to “submit a written statement regarding his participation in a meeting at the European Solidarity Center in Gdańsk on September 28, 2018.”

October 8, 2018: Judge Tuleya is called upon to “submit a written statement regarding his participation in a meeting in Lublin on September 30, 2018.”

November 29, 2018: Judge Tuleya is requested to submit “a written statement regarding possible judicial intemperance by causing the District Court in Warsaw request a preliminary ruling from the CJEU.”


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