Bodnar about arrested soldiers. He proposes a solution. “A system modeled on the American JAG”

Bodnar about arrested soldiers.  He proposes a solution.  "A system modeled on the American JAG"

During a press conference on Thursday, Adam Bodnar was asked about the high-profile case involving the detention of three soldiers by the Military Police. He also talked about separating the offices of the Minister of Justice and the Prosecutor General.

During the conference in Strasbourg on June 6, the head of the Ministry of Justice pointed out that prosecutor Tomasz Janeczek, when the decision to arrest the soldiers was made, “should have notified” the prosecutor general about it. – The matter is so serious that I should know about it. I was not aware that (such a case – editor) was being investigated in the prosecutor's office. (…) (Deputy Prosecutor General for Military Affairs) first said that he did not know about the case, and later it turned out that there was a letter (dated at the beginning of May – ed.) confirming that he had decided to take over the matter under its own supervision, says Bodnar.

He added that the document should also contain the “signature” of Attorney Janeczek, “under the slogan: 'consent'” – And that is why I would like to meet with him, to explain to me where it came from, that he first denies it (so that he knows about the situation – ed.), and later the letter shows something else – I think it is a big abuse, not only towards me, but also towards the public opinion – says the prosecutor general.

Bodnar proposes creating a legal aid system modeled on JAG

The TVN station's editorial staff asked Bodnar if it was true that the head of government, Donald Tusk, called him to appear for a meeting with the head of the Ministry of National Defense, Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz. The meeting is scheduled to take place tomorrow, June 7. – I was actually summoned. I think that the Prime Minister simply wants to talk about this matter and see what we have found out – he replied to the journalists. As he noted, “this is a special situation.” – Pursuant to the Law on the Prosecutor's Office (of 2016 – ed.), the deputy prosecutor general responsible for military matters (prosecutor Janeczek) is responsible to both the prosecutor general and the minister of national defense – he emphasized.

– I think that the conversation here will concern the functioning of the military prosecutor's office, and perhaps this whole situation will also trigger a reflection on further various corrective actions – both in the context of the functioning of the military prosecutor's office and in the context of (…) creating a comprehensive legal aid system for soldiers, a bit like the American JAG (Judge Advocate General's Corps – ed.) – noted the prosecutor general. What is JAG? This is the Corps of Judge Advocates who provide legal assistance to military personnel when they appear in court.

Bodnar emphasized that the idea is that “in every situation (…) soldiers will automatically have a lawyer so that they do not have to worry about this issue, and that we should modernize our army in such a way that such a corps of lawyers will function in the army.” . – He is needed (…) in the context of helping soldiers – when they go on missions, they have various national matters (…) and I think that we will talk about it with the Minister (of national defense) Kosiniak-Kamysz in the near future , to, among other things, to go in this direction for such a reform, he said.

Bodnar on separating the office of the head of the Ministry of Justice from the prosecutor general: I am “for”

At the conference in France, Bodnar was also asked about the issue of separating the offices of the Minister of Justice from the Prosecutor General. – I am in favor – he assured. – However, as long as I perform these functions, I am responsible for them. (…) I try to ensure (…) the independence of the prosecutor's office, but also to ensure that the prosecutor's office is responsible towards public opinion and, in a sense, accountable for what it does and how it takes action, he emphasized.

He added that the project “is basically ready”, which was worked on by a group of several experts, including: from MS. – At this stage, the project has been submitted to the codification committee of the judiciary and prosecutor's office system – with a request for (…) an opinion on it so that we can move to the next phase – he said.

Finally, he informed that it would be “a matter of a few days” for it to “be included in the government's list of legislative works and be subject to proper inter-ministerial and social consultations.”

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