Prosecutors informed about suspected crime by Supreme Audit Office head

Marcin Obara/PAP

A district prosecutor's office in Warsaw has been notified of a suspected crime committed by Marian Banas, the head of the Supreme Audit Office (NIK).

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.

Banas, the head of NIK, a body that oversees the functioning of the government and its agencies, has been at odds with Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) since late 2019. He fell from grace after the media revealed he had rented his tenement house in Krakow, southern Poland, to a person from the local underworld, who then used the property to rent rooms "by the hour".

Since that time, his office has performed a number of audits and issued several reports which were highly critical of senior government ministers.

After Banas's son had been arrested last summer on corruption charges, in what he claimed was a politically motivated case, Banas accused government agencies of coercing arrested individuals into giving false testimonies against him and his family.

Banas told a Senate, upper house, commission probing a spyware case that the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau's (CBA) operations were illegally financed. The government is said to have purchased Pegasus for PLN 25 million (about EUR 5.5 million) for CBA using funds from the Victims and Post-release Assistance Fund, known as the Justice Fund.

In late December, US news agency Associated Press reported that researchers at the University of Toronto had found that Israeli spyware Pegasus had been used to hack the mobile phones of some members of the opposition in Poland.