President Andrzej Duda initiated pardon proceedings against Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik. Contrary to appearances, this procedure and issuing an act of grace are not synonymous. The difference between them was explained in an interview with “Wprost” by prof. Piotr Kruszyński, an outstanding specialist in criminal law.
On Thursday, January 11, President Andrzej Duda announced that he had initiated pardon proceedings against Law and Justice MPs Mariusz Kamiński and Maciej Wąsik.
Initiation of pardon proceedings
The president explained that he decided to take this step at the request of Kamiński and Wąsik’s wives and to prevent the escalation of social tensions, which were expressed, among others, by the demonstration under the slogan “Protest of free Poles” in Warsaw.
At the same time, he sent a request to the Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General Adam Bodnar to suspend the execution of the sentence – i.e. the immediate release of Kamiński and Wąsik from prison – until the pardon proceedings are completed. This possibility is provided for in Art. 568 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
– I said that I would make every effort to return your freedom as soon as possible, so that they would be free people and not political prisoners in a free Republic of Poland, because it is an insult to its dignity and also to our international position. (…) I hope that Prosecutor General Adam Bodnar, until recently the Commissioner for Human Rights, will quickly consider this request and make a decision consistent with the best interests of the Republic of Poland, said the president.
President: The act of grace is effective
He emphasized that despite the initiation of clemency proceedings, he is of the opinion that the act of clemency issued against Kamiński and Wąsik in November 2015 is still in force.