E-mail scandal: ‘Some journalist should ask me about it’. How the government’s narrative about ‘anarchy’ in the judiciary was created
'I would very much like them to be shorter and very succinct, using words such as: we cannot allow legal chaos, conjugating this through all cases, and using the thesaurus, namely anarchy, disorder, inertia, mess,’ Morawiecki wrote.
The text was published by Onet.pl in Polish.
- Further messages exchanged between people from the Prime Minister’s office have been posted on the web.
- At the end of 2019, Mateusz Morawiecki asked his colleagues to prepare a series of messages to convince the Poles that the courts are suffering from chaos.
- The prime minister’s request coincided with the disciplinary proceedings that were ongoing at that time against Judge Juszczyszyn.
- The correspondence also contains the name of the then-Supreme Court Judge Małgorzata Manowska.
Morawiecki’s request: ‘for some journalist to ask me about it’.
Further e-mail discussions between people from the Prime Minister’s office have appeared in the web. This time a discussion dated 29 November 2019 was leaked. Referring to disciplinary proceedings against Judge Paweł Juszczyszyn, Morawiecki asked his colleagues – including Michał Dworczyk, Mariusz Chłopik, Piotr Müller and Paweł Jabłoński – to prepare a press release showing that there is ‘chaos and anarchy’ in the courts.
‘As a matter of urgency (…), I would now want some journalist to ask me (…) on my tour today. I would very much like them to be shorter and very succinct, using words such as: we cannot allow legal chaos, conjugating this through all cases, and using the thesaurus, namely anarchy, disorder, inertia, mess,’ Morawiecki wrote.
What Manowska said at dinner
Pointing out to his colleagues that ‘less means more’, and that the message should be brief, the prime minister asked for one more thing.
‘I would also like these three entries from Ms Manowska, which she quoted yesterday at dinner, to be downloaded – perhaps Paweł [Jabłoński, deputy minister of foreign affairs – ed.] could obtain them from her and give them to me today’.
Małgorzata Manowska was already a judge of the Supreme Court on the date of this correspondence. She became the first president of the Supreme Court less than six months later, in May 2020.
Jabłonski responded quickly to Morawiecki’s message, giving examples of communications to justify the changes introduced into the judiciary by the Law and Justice (PiS) party. Morawiecki responded to them as follows: ‘It is precisely my point that we should fight very intensively against this chaos and use the right narrative to convince the ordinary man in the street’.
Screenshots purported to have come from Michał Dworczyk’s private mailbox, as well as those of other politicians or activists associated with the ruling camp, have been appearing in the internet since the beginning of June 2021. On 9 June 2021, the head of the Prime Minister’s Chancellery declared on Twitter that, following the reports on the hacking of his and his wife’s e-mailboxes, as well as their social media accounts, this has been reported to the respective state services.
Since then, new messages from Michał Dworczyk’s e-mail account have been appearing in the web. Among them was probably confidential information on arming the Polish army, revealing details of defence negotiations with other countries, as well as internal conversations between Mateusz Morawiecki’s closest associates, including those involving himself.
As recently as in June 2021, the Polish services reported that the theft and publication of the e-mails was conducted as a part of a long-term disinformation campaign codenamed ‘Ghostwriter’, for which the hacker group UNC1151 was responsible. In November, the U.S. cyber security company, Mandiant, related this group’s activities to the Belarusian regime. It simultaneously pointed out that it did not rule out the involvement of Russian hackers in the same operation.
The Polish government is not confirming or denying the veracity of these e-mails, but some of them have been confirmed by their senders or addressees.
Dworczyk’s leaked e-mails. The clues leading to Belarus may have been misleading
It arises from the findings of the experts from the U.S. company, Recorded Future, whose report OKO.press quotes, that messages from the e-mailbox of the head of the Prime Minister’s Chancellery, Michał Dworczyk, were probably stolen by Russian hackers within the framework of the broader ‘Ghostwriter’ operation.
Analysts from the U.S. suspect that Russian and Belarusian hackers may be working together within the ‘Ghostwriter’ operation. They assess the Russian government’s involvement in the operation as being highly likely.
The Americans point out that Russian military units have been training Belarusians for a long time, which could have given the Russian services the tools to use Belarus to cover their tracks.