A lawyer from Olsztyn made a donation to PiS and is a judge. His partner also contributed and he too wants to become a judge
Tomasz Kosakowski donated 12,500 zlotys to the PiS election fund and has just been appointed a judge by President Andrzej Duda. His former partner from the law firm paid 25,000 zlotys to the fund and is now applying for a position in the administrative court
President Andrzej Duda appointed Tomasz Kosakowski, attorney-at-law, to the position of judge of the Regional Court in Olsztyn on Tuesday, 6 October 2020. He will be a judge of the labour and social insurance division.
Markiewicz pays twice as much
When Tomasz Kosakowski was applying for the position of judge in the Regional Court in Olsztyn, he paid 12,500 zlotys to the PiS (Law and Justice party) election fund. This arises from PiS’ report submitted to the National Electoral Commission for 2019. The matter was discovered by OKO.press.
Kosakowski applied for a position in the court in Olsztyn in the recruitment process conducted by the new NCJ in April 2018. The new NCJ issued a resolution in February 2019 recommending him to the president for appointment as a judge. We have not managed to establish whether Kosakowski donated the money to the PiS election fund before or after the resolution was passed.
PiS’ report for 2019 shows that Paweł Markiewicz, legal counsel from Olsztyn, also made a contribution to this party’s election fund. He was managing the Legalexpert law firm together with Kosakowski. Markiewicz paid 25,000 zlotys to PiS’ fund. As Gazeta Wyborcza from Olsztyn wrote, he was recently a member of the supervisory board of the Warmia and Mazury Special Economic Zone as a representative of the Ministry of State Assets.
Paweł Markiewicz is also applying for a judicial post. He wants to become a judge of the Voivodship Administrative Court in Olsztyn.
He submitted his application in the recruitment conducted by the new NCJ in June 2020, which was after he donated the money to PiS’ election fund. The new NCJ will assess the candidates to the administrative court in Olsztyn in a week. Will Markiewicz, like his former partner from the Kosakowski law firm, be recommended for the office of judge?
The judges wanted the withdrawal of Kosakowski’s nomination
The matter of the nomination of Tomasz Kosakowski to the office of judge has outraged the judiciary community.
Because, although he made payments to PiS while formally being an attorney-at-law, he did so while he was applying for the position of judge. This raises the question of whether he satisfies the basic criteria for being a judge.
Attention was drawn to this by the Judges’ Cooperation Forum (FWS). The forum is an informal association of judges, which was formed in place of the old, legal NCJ that was dissolved by PiS.
In the resolution of 5 October, the FWS Permanent Presidium wrote that “significant doubts arise as to whether the candidate satisfies the requirement of being apolitical, as well as of having an impeccable character, which are the necessary qualities of being a judge”. The forum appealed for Kosowski’s candidacy to be withdrawn from the President’s Chancellery to “avoid compromising the judicial nomination process any further.” As can be seen, the president had no problems nominating him as a judge. In turn, after the article published by OKO.press, bitter comments appeared in the Internet that a position in a regional court costs 12,500 zlotys.
Questions about whether Kosakowski will be an independent judge are all the more justified as he posted entries in Facebook which are supportive of the current government.
The background to his photograph in a hood was a patch on a camo sweatshirt with a modified symbol of Fighting Poland [Polska Walcząca] and the slogan “Death to the Enemies of the Fatherland”. It arises from the history of his Facebook profile that he liked the profiles of church organizations and right-wing politicians, among others. He praised the government for its battle against the epidemic. He praised the president of the District Court in Olsztyn, Maciej Nawacki, for suspending Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn in his duties.
OKO.press tried to talk to Tomasz Kosakowski before the publication of our first article. We asked him about his contribution to the PiS election fund. “I don’t remember. In 2019? I can’t confirm that. I’m not saying no. You have surprised me,” Kosakowski only told. He then did not answer the questions sent by e-mail, he no longer answered his telephone and his Facebook profile was no longer available.