Lawyer course

Polish court sees no reason to arrest prominent lawyer

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A prominent Polish lawyer who represented political opposition figures and was treated as a suspect in a politically sensitive case was cleared by a court on Friday.

Roman Giertych was targeted by the Pegasus spyware in 2019 while representing Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister and former president of the European Council who now leads Poland’s main opposition party, the Civic Platform. Giertych also represented other prominent opposition politicians.

In 2020, Giertych was arrested by Polish authorities and his home was raided in a manner that a Polish court later found to be illegal and unwarranted.

Prosecutors ordered his arrest, accusing him of laundering huge sums of money from a publicly traded company, Polnord.

Giertych vehemently denies these claims and accuses the ruling Polish authorities of trying to ruin him politically.

The Lublin District Court announced on Friday that it was rejecting the prosecutor’s request for his arrest, upholding a lower court’s decision. The decision is final.

The court argued there were no grounds for his arrest and said the prosecutor had not presented evidence to support his claims that Giertych was guilty of the alleged crimes.

Giertych hailed the ruling, saying he saw it as an example of the rule of law and independent judges “resisting populist onslaught”.

According to reports in the Polish media, prosecutors plan to continue the investigation into Giertych and consider the judge who ruled in his case to be biased against the ruling conservative Law and Justice party.

From 2006 to 2007, Giertych served as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education in a conservative government led by Law and Justice. At the time, he was the leader of a far-right party, the League of Polish Families, but has since allied himself politically with Tusk and other centrist politicians.