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    Controversial Departure: Former Dep. Justice Minister Comments on Judge Szmydt’s Case

    Today, Polish Judge Tomasz Szmydt announced his sudden relocation to Belarus during a press conference in the Belarusian capital on Monday. Citing persecution and threats due to his “independent political stance,” Szmydt declared his immediate resignation from his position at the Provincial Administrative Court in Warsaw. This dramatic step highlights the increasing tension within Poland’s judiciary and political landscape.

    Szmydt’s departure has ignited a flurry of reactions, particularly from former Deputy Minister of Justice Sebastian Kaleta of the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS). Kaleta described Szmydt as a low-ranking official within the Ministry of Justice, initially involved in Warsaw’s reprivatization cases but noted for his lack of significant engagement. Reflecting on Szmydt’s career, Kaleta pointed out several political shifts in the judge’s past, suggesting a pattern of aligning with prevailing powers rather than a consistent political ideology.

    Moreover, Kaleta raised concerns about potential foreign influences, speculating on the involvement of Russian and Belarusian agencies in Szmydt’s decision. He expressed hope that questions would be directed at former opposition members regarding their interactions with Szmydt, especially given his brief media prominence as a ‘star’ on TVN, a major Polish television network.

    The situation is further complicated by the judge’s claims of forced resignation due to alleged threats and his expressed disagreement with current government actions in Warsaw. Szmydt also submitted a formal resignation letter to Jacek Chlebny, the President of the Supreme Administrative Court in Warsaw, which he shared with President Andrzej Duda and the National Council of the Judiciary, emphasizing the immediacy of his departure.

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