Thursday, December 01, 2005

UN-Presidential: Kwasniewski May Pardon Former Ministers

This blog has been following Polish President Kwasniewski's campaign for the top post at the UN, with mixed feelings. Now, according to Polish papers, it looks like Kwasniewski may issue a last minute pardon to a former Interior Ministry deputy minister who is heading to jail for endangering police lives by leaking info about a planned police raid on local mafia.

Kwasniewski doesn't have much time because his presidency ends on December 22 and for his sake I hope he doesn't make it. This would be an ugly stain on his record. He might want to ask former U.S. President Clinton about the harm of last minute pardons. This move would excuse an action by a former top official at a ministry which oversees the police. Instead of doing all he can to support law enforcement, this character decided to leak secret info to two local party officials, who in turn passed it on people connected to the local underworld.

All three were sentenced to jail, with former deputy minister, Zbigniew Sobotka getting a 3 1/2 year sentence. Hopefully he'll end up there.

Kwasniewski is also considering pardoning another crony, former interior minister and Kwasniewski's chief of staff Ryszard Kalisz, for a small libel fine from several years ago.

Saving party pals from just punishment doesn't exactly look becoming for a man who claimed to be the "President of all Poles" and wants to head the UN some day.

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