Parliamentary committee recommends stripping audit chief of immunity

Rafał Guz/PAP

The Rules and Deputies' Affairs Committee of Poland's lower house of parliament, the Sejm, has recommended that the head of the Supreme Audit Office (NIK), Marian Banas, be stripped of his immunity.

A district prosecutor's office in Warsaw was earlier notified of a suspected crime committed by Banas. The prosecutor's office said the notification had been filed by Tadeusz Dziuba, NIK's deputy head.

According to prosecutors, the notification alleges Banas exceeded his powers and was negligent when appointing the heads of NIK departments and regional offices. He is also accused of disclosing classified information. The notification is now being analysed by the prosecutor's office, which also wants to bring charges against the NIK head for falsely declaring his interests.

The Sejm committee on Wednesday morning took up a prosecutor's request for parliamentary permission to bring Banas to justice. The committee voted nine to seven in favour of recommending Banas be stripped of his immunity, committee head Kazimierz Smolinski of the ruling Law and Justice party said.

The matter will now go the the Sejm speaker, Elzbieta Witek, and the "Sejm Presidium will decide further what will happen with this request," Smolinski said.

Under Banas, NIK has performed a number of audits and issued several reports which were highly critical of senior government ministers.

Banas has also accused government agencies of coercing arrested individuals into giving false testimonies against him and his family.