Poland's prosecution to analyse audit office's election notification

The prosecutor's office will examine a notification of possible offences committed by the Polish prime minister and other senior officials when organising a failed attempt to hold the presidential election last year in a postal format, Zbigniew Ziobro, the prosecutor general and justice minister, has said.

The notification was filed by Poland’s Supreme Audit Office (NIK) following an investigation into an attempt to hold a postal-vote presidential election in May last year.

NIK has accused the prime minister, the head of his office and two other ministers of breaking the law when trying to organise the election. The election was later scrapped after Agreement, one of the two small ruling coalition partners, refused to support the idea.

Speaking to Polish public television TVP1, Zbigniew Ziobro said that "the notification will be scrutinised, of course."

However, he also said that "the prosecutors have already investigated the case and have stated their position, no facts have changed here."

Ziobro, who leads the other small coalition party, Solidary Poland, was a supporter of organising the vote at that time. His dual role of justice minister and prosecutor general has prompted some fears in Poland that he could interfere politically in criminal investigations.

"I can see no reason for prosecutors to make different decisions given the facts are the same, unless any new facts have appeared," Ziobro added.

Commenting on last year's situation, Ziobro said that "the opposition's task was to cause anarchy by blocking the presidential election.

"We couldn't agree to that and the prime minister made a decision to organise postal elections," he went on to say.

Ziobro also said that "the prime minister and the ministers acted within the law."

Despite its cancellation, the postal vote plan still cost taxpayers tens of millions of zlotys.

Apart from the four top officials, NIK has notified prosecutors of possible crimes committed by the Polish Post and the Polish Security Printing Works, the two institutions that were involved in printing and distributing the ballot papers.