Former Dep PM, businessman detained in money laundering case

Giertych, who was released home after questioning, collapsed while attending the search in his house and was transported to hospital without regaining consciousness. Wojciech Olkuśnik/PAP

Prominent Warsaw attorney and former politician Roman Giertych and his client and businessman Ryszard K. were detained by anti-corruption police on Thursday in connection with money laundering inquiries around a stock market company.

Also on Thursday, Giertych's Warsaw house and office were searched by teams from Poland's Central Anticorruption Bureau (CBA). A similar search was underway in Ryszard K's residence in Gdynia, northern Poland.

Ryszard K. is one of Giertych's legal clients.

The case, which involves the siphoning of PLN 92 million (EUR 20.2 million) from a stock-market-quoted real estate operator between 2010 and 2014, is being investigated by prosecutors in Poznań, western Poland.

The office of the government's special services coordinator announced on Thursday that 12 people have been detained in the case so far. The office said that the charges against them may range from money laundering to embezzlement and criminal misconduct.

According to Giertych's daughter Maria, the charges against her father are politically motivated and a response to his negative opinions about the present Polish government.

Between 2006 to 2007 Giertych served as deputy prime minister and education minister in the Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz and Jarosław Kaczyński governments during the present ruling party Law and Justice's (PiS) first term in government (2005-2007).

Anna Marszałek, spokesperson of the Poznan Regional Prosecution, said Giertych and Ryszard K. will be moved to Poznań for further questioning. She refused to discuss their role in the case.

According to sources close to the inquiry, Giertych is alleged to have helped Ryszard K. move money from Poland to Cyprus and to have had a sizeable cut in the operation.

Later on Thursday Giertych, who was released home after questioning, collapsed while attending the search in his house and was transported to hospital without regaining consciousness. His daughter has said that he lost consciousness in the bathroom, where he was accompanied by a CBA officer.