On 12 January a fresh demonstration called by members of the judiciary took place in Cracow, heartland of Poland, in front of the Court of Appeal. The judges highlighted the unfounded and unlawful hearings of 14 judges, who had been queried by the special internal department of the National Prosecutor’s Office.
Over 70 magistrates demonstrated to say “no more intimidation of judges” and to speak out against the “exerting unacceptable strain” placed on their colleagues. They say that those hearings were nothing but interrogations made in retaliation by the Polish State because of the decisions issued by judges in favour of oppressed prosecutor Mariusz Krasoń, one of the first members of the Polish judiciary to suffer from the attack on the judiciary.
While the Polish government argues that it is necessary to tackle corruption and make the judicial system more efficient, critical voices, including the European Commission, stated that the independence of the judiciary in Poland is being eroded as this recent event show us again. This is the umpteenth case of clear interference in the judges’ work and a blatant abuse of power by the Polish Public Prosecutor’s office. Meanwhile, on 14 January, a court in Karlsruhe, Germany, refused to extradite a German citizen to Poland, because of concerns of state of the rule of law in that country.
Asia Jane Leigh