In a legal saga that has captivated public attention, the District Court in Warsaw has rejected the request to register the “liquidator” of Polish Radio, revealing a contentious battle for control in the country’s media landscape. The move, initiated by nominees of Bartłomiej Sienkiewicz, has sparked accusations of law violations and raised concerns about the erosion of media independence.
The Chairman of the National Broadcasting Council, Maciej Świrski, took to social media to disclose the court’s decision, shedding light on the controversial attempt to reshape the leadership of Polish Radio. Following the forceful entry of Sienkiewicz’s nominees into public media, authorities sought to expedite the liquidation of companies, a move seen as an effort to consolidate power through strategically placed “liquidators.”
Oddalenie wniosku o wpis likwidacji i likwidatora Polskiego Radio SA. pic.twitter.com/uOZ4uNBcbo— Maciej Świrski (@Maciej_Swirski) January 22, 2024
The pretext for this drastic action was the veto by President Andrzej Duda of a budget-related law, which originally earmarked 3 billion for what was deemed as the illegal takeover of media outlets. However, the courts ruled that the takeover, based on the Commercial Companies Code, was unlawful, leading to a refusal to register the new authorities in the National Court Register.
Court Decision Sets Precedent: “Liquidator” Nominee Exclusion Reverberates in Polish Media Landscape
The legal battle doesn’t end there; the court’s decision also poses a significant challenge for the nominees, colloquially referred to as “liquidators.” As reported by Maciej Świrski, the court highlighted the unprecedented nature of the case, calling for broader considerations and a thorough analysis of special laws, case law, and doctrine.
Consequently, Paweł Majcher, the nominee for “liquidator,” will not be registered in the National Court Register. The decision upholds the position of Agnieszka Kamińska as the President of the Management Board of Polish Radio. The opposition Law and Justice party seized the moment to proclaim, “We were right! Colonel Sienkiewicz broke the law.”
Sienkiewicz’s Nominees Target Radio Equipment in Ongoing Media Controversy
Meanwhile, the controversy extends beyond the courtroom, with reports of unlawful actions by Sienkiewicz’s nominees continuing in the branches of Polish Radio. In Radio Szczecin, authorities are allegedly attempting to seize the equipment of Tomasz Duklanowski, which contains compromising materials on Civic Platform politicians. The court’s decision serves as another confirmation that the neo-authorities of media companies do not possess the legal right to pursue such actions.
As the legal battle unfolds, the fate of Polish Radio hangs in the balance, with implications for media independence and the rule of law in the country. The controversy highlights the delicate balance between political power and the protection of democratic institutions, raising questions about the future of media freedom in Poland.