Polish former transport minister placed under arrest for 3 months

Radek Pietruszka/PAP

Poland's former Transport Minister Sławomir Nowak will remain in custody for the next three months, a Warsaw court decided on Wednesday.

Nowak was detained earlier in the week and charged by the Warsaw Regional Prosecutor's Office with corruption and heading an organised crime ring.

Jacek P., another suspect detained in the case, will also remain in custody. Meanwhile, Dariusz Z., former commander of the Polish elite special forces unit GROM, the third person involved in the case, may be released on a PLN 1,000,000 bail (EUR 226,198), Mirosława Chyr, a spokesperson for the Warsaw Prosecutor's Office, told PAP on Wednesday. The prosecution is to appeal the court's latter decision.

Nowak's lawyers said after the court's decision that they will lodge a protest. Attorney Antoni Kania-Sieniawski said the defence was given only three-and-a-half hours to read 90 volumes of case files.

Nowak, Poland's transport minister in the years 2011-2013 and former head of Ukraine's Ukrawtodor state railroad agency (2016-2019), is suspected of deriving financial benefits for himself and third parties by offering road construction orders in Ukraine, and of money laundering.