Opposition MPs to notify prosecutors about PM's alleged neglect of duty
MPs from the main opposition party Civic Platform (PO) have said they will notify the prosecutor's office about possible neglect of duty by the Polish prime minister as regards his alleged failure to inform the public about the wreckage of a Russian missile found in north-central Poland.
In late April, the Defence Ministry announced that the remains of an unidentified military object had been found 15 kilometres from the Polish north-central city of Bydgoszcz. It is suspected it was a Russian missile that crashed into a forest near the city in December last year. The warhead of the missile was found shortly after the first finding, but the news about the second discovery was not released until May 19.
"Today we are submitting a motion to the Polish prosecutor's office... to notify it about the possibility of committing a crime by Prime Minister (Mateusz) Morawiecki due to his failure to fulfil his duties, due to the fact that he lied to the public, due to the fact that he knew from the very beginning about the rocket that fell on Poland," Tomasz Siemoniak and Cezary Tomczyk from PO told a Thursday press conference.
They referred to an article in the Thursday issue of the Rzeczpospolita daily which wrote, citing its own findings, that both Morawiecki and Mariusz Blaszczak, a deputy prime minister and the defence minister, were on December 16, 2022 informed about "an unidentified object of unknown origin" by the operational commander of the Armed Forces, general Tomasz Piotrowski.
"Information about the unidentified object and who was informed about it was included in the documents of the Air Operations Centre service that was on duty, in an ad hoc report of this service, which was made before noon that day, and in a detailed report, which was made around 2.30 am on December 17," Rzeczpospolita wrote.
Tomczyk said that the most serious allegation against Morawiecki is that he reportedly knew from the very beginning about the fall of the rocket, but "the Polish state did nothing" about it for five months.
According to Siemoniak, a former defence minister, "a completely different picture emerges from what Minister Błaszczak or Prime Minister Morawiecki tried to present.
"We are finding out that Prime Minister Morawiecki was immediately informed about the incident with the Russian rocket by the operational commander in a telephone conversation. In May, Prime Minister Morawiecki said that he learned about the whole incident at the end of April. So we are dealing with a complete lie, misleading opinions in a matter that concerns state security," he said.
Later on Thursday, Piotr Mueller, the government spokesman, took to Twitter to deny the allegations against Morawiecki.
"The information in the Rzeczpospolita article regarding reporting to the prime minister on the events on December 16, 2022 is absolutely untrue," he wrote.
"The prime minister was not informed about the incident in December. Nor was there any telephone information to the prime minister mentioned in the article. The information provided by the newspaper is a lie," Mueller added.
The defence ministry also reacted to Rzeczpospolita's report on Twitter.
"Today's Rzeczpospolita contains false information," the MoD wrote. "According to the facts presented during the conference on May 11, the head of the Ministry of National Defence was not informed about the missile that appeared in Polish airspace or about the violation of Polish airspace on December 16, 2022," the MoD's post read.