No reason for Orlen CEO to step down - gov't spokesman

A Polish government spokesman says there are no reasons for the president of the state-owned fuel company PKN Orlen to resign after a newspaper reported on an alleged conflict of interest case from his past.

The daily Gazeta Wyborcza wrote on Friday that Daniel Obajtek, when he was the head of Pcim village in southern Poland, "wanted to destroy his uncle's company (Elektroplast - PAP)."

Wyborcza claims that at the time Obajtek was also running from behind the scenes TT Plast, a company in competition to his uncle’s, contravening local government regulations.

The paper also claims he lied to a court about the case, and says it has, as evidence, recordings of Obajtek's conversations about the affair.

The story could embarrass the Polish government, which is led by Law and Justice, a party that has long promised to stamp out nefarious and illegal business practices.

But government spokesman Piotr Muller said that "there are no reasons why President Obajtek should step down" from his post as Orlen president.

The OKN Orlen press office said that the article, entitled "Obajtek's Tapes," contains false information, a series of unfounded suggestions and manipulations that mislead public opinion.

A statement was also issued by the CEO of TT Plast, Tomasz Fortuna, who said the information about his company in the article is false.

"I hereby certify that in the period indicated in the article, that is from February 17 to August 28, 2009, Daniel Obajtek did not manage TT Plast, he did not hold any function in it and had no influence on its business activities," Fortuna said.

Gazeta Wyborcza described a telephone conversation on August 27, 2009 between a man named Szymon, who works for TT Plast. He asked Obajtek about his uncle Roman Lis, Elektroplast's co-owner, with whom he was in conflict.

The daily wrote that the current president of PKN Orlen was throwing the worst insults at his uncle. "On the tapes, you can hear him giving orders to a TT Plast employee, ordering talks with clients, deciding on holiday times," the newspaper added.