Opposition presidential runner calls for transparency on pardons

Lech Muszyński/PAP

Poland's Civic Coalition (KO) presidential runner Rafal Trzaskowski said on Wednesday that the presidential pardon system must be as transparent as possible and appealed to incumbent President Andrzej Duda to disclose information about pardons granted by him.

Trzaskowski told a press conference in Trzcianka, west-central Poland, that the list of people pardoned by Duda raises "a lot of doubts and questions", including three people convicted of drug trafficking in organised crime, three convicted of family abuse and one convicted of murder.

Duda's pardoning of a sex offender against his minor daughter, reported by Rzeczpospolita daily, has recently aroused much controversy. As the president himself and later the deputy head of his office Pawel Mucha explained, in the said case, Duda exercised his right to partial release from criminal effects by shortening of the prohibition on approaching victims. They added that the victim and her mother asked the president for lifting the restraining order and that the abuser has already served his sentence.

"Pardons are a very important element of the presidency and it is worth making this system as transparent as possible. This is not about personal data, of course, but categories of crimes. The point is for the public to know all the details," he said.

Trzaskowski also wants to know if people related to the ruling Law and Justice party or paying money to the party's fund appeared on the list of pardoned persons. The politician appealed for the information to be disclosed to the public by Thursday evening.

In response to Trzaskowski's appeal, presidential spokesman Blazej Spychalski said later on Wednesday that all information about pardons granted by Duda is available on the president's website.