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    Do TVN Journalists Serve as Kremlin Representatives? Unveiling the Truth Backed by Gazeta Polska’s Groundbreaking Investigation

    Following the response of the Law and Justice (PiS) party leader to a reporter from TVN24, a media uproar ensued. The station expressed outrage and announced its intention to file a lawsuit against the politician. However, it is worth considering whether Kaczyński was right, as the claim made by him that TVN24 acted in the interest of the Kremlin seems to be supported by many publications from the same station. Journalists from the SWS Media (Free Speech Zone Media -ed.) have been pointing out this issue for years, including in the context of the founders’ connections to the communist-era secret services. Interestingly, the “Russian trace” in the actions of the company controlling TVN has not disappeared.

    During a recent visit to Kopczany in the Podlaskie Voivodeship, PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński was asked by TVN24 reporter Mateusz Grzymkowski about the dismissal of Defense Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.

    “At this moment, I am unfortunately compelled – this is not a personal remark against you – to treat you as a representative of the Kremlin because only the Kremlin wants this man to quit being the Minister of National Defense,”

    Kaczyński replied.

    In response to the PiS leader’s statement, TVN announced legal action, and a special statement was also published by the Press Club Poland.

    A statement was also issued by the spokesperson of Law and Justice, Rafał Bochenek.

    “In this matter, Mr. President Jarosław Kaczyński clearly justified his opinion. Attacking Defense Minister, Mr. Prime Minister Mariusz Błaszczak and attempting to discredit his achievements in the area of strengthening the defense of our country is aligning with Kremlin propaganda. Thanks to the actions taken in recent years, especially the adoption of the Defense of the Homeland Act authored by Mr. President Jarosław Kaczyński, as well as numerous groundbreaking decisions and armament contracts, we are repairing what was destroyed during the time of our predecessors. Since 2015, we have been progressively rebuilding the military potential, as well as the personnel of the Polish army and the Polish defense industry,”

    reads the statement by the spokesperson of PiS.

    Lies and manipulations regarding the Smolensk tragedy

    Even before Jarosław Kaczyński publicly addressed the alarming question from the TVN24 journalist, which, as he claimed, served the interests of the Kremlin, journalists from the Free Speech Zone media had reported on the issue. The most vivid examples of such actions were publications related to the Smolensk tragedy, both those from 13 years ago, shortly after the catastrophe, and those reporting on the progress of the Smolensk investigation, openly questioning the position of the Polish state in this matter.

    After the publication of the Smolensk subcommittee’s report on August 10, 2021, which – let’s remind ourselves once again, represents the official position of the Polish state, TVN24, in its own media narrative regarding the causes and circumstances of this national tragedy, consistently and openly challenges the findings of the report, undermining the circumstances and causes described in it. In the TVN24 materials (Piotr Świerczek’s report entitled “The Power of Lies” and an article published by the TVN24 portal on December 4, 2022, titled “International Experts: No Injuries Indicating an Explosion Found on the Bodies of Smolensk Crash Victims”), it was argued that international experts did not find any injuries on the bodies of the Smolensk crash victims indicating an explosion. It quickly became apparent that the claims made in the article were the result of manipulation.

    What TVN24 did is completely unbelievable because they referred to the opinion of the prosecutor's office, completely ignoring the fact that the prosecutor's office questioned the opinion of this international team. It should be clearly emphasized that the prosecutor's office questioned the position that was presented to them and demanded a verification of the formulated opinion. And rightly so because the report of the Smolensk subcommittee mentions the position of the international team of experts who unequivocally stated that the traces on the bodies of the individuals in saloon no. 3, where the generals and heads of the Armed Forces were, indicate an explosion. TVN24 completely omitted this expertise, which was formulated by an international team of experts. Why did this TV station do that? It is difficult for me to understand. I am afraid that we are dealing with a continuation of the Smolensk lie - assessed Grzegorz Wierzchołowski in Gazeta Polska Codziennie (GPC).

    Not even a single word about Tusk

    Furthermore, the manipulations contained in both of these publications were aimed, among other things, at silencing any doubts regarding the causes of the Smolensk catastrophe that could potentially hold accountable individuals from the current opposition, particularly former prime minister – Donald Tusk. This happened despite the fact that the report explicitly pointed to Tusk’s responsibility, as well as that of the state bodies and intelligence services under his leadership, which committed a series of unacceptable actions and negligence.

    According to the findings of the report, the status of the flight of the TU-154M aircraft to Smolensk was unlawfully and without justification downgraded. The HAED instruction, which should have been followed for flights of the highest-ranking officials in the country, was violated, with the most glaring manifestation being the lack of a backup plane prepared. Donald Tusk approved the separation of visits to Katyn, and the services under his leadership committed a series of irregularities in the organization and execution of the major overhaul of the TU-154M No. 101, which was carried out in Russia in a manner that disregarded safety principles.

    As indicated by the Smolensk subcommittee’s report, the government led by Tusk ignored the proposal of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to establish a joint Polish-Russian commission to investigate the catastrophe. This ultimately significantly hindered the determination of its causes and, furthermore, was an action by the then government that was contrary to the law.

    Macierewicz: “What TVN24 has done is the realization of Kremlin’s interests”

    Meanwhile, journalists from TVN24 completely overlook the aforementioned issues and refer to taken-out-of-context fragments of the decision of the National Prosecutor’s Office dated November 24, 2022, in which experts were requested to address the conclusions of forensic medicine specialists, whose opinion presented in September of the previous year was considered unclear and incomplete in certain aspects. In several cases, the experts did not exclude the hypothesis of a sudden release of energy in the form of an explosion.

    While the conclusion of the International Team of Experts for Comprehensive Opinion, which utilizes opinions from several expert groups responsible for specific areas of knowledge, states: “Based solely on available medical-forensic data, it is not possible to make determinations of a reconstructive nature” (meaning that the causes and course of the catastrophe cannot be reconstructed), some media outlets solely rely on the opinion of the International Team of Forensic Medicine Experts, which is just one of the teams.

    As emphasized in the statement from December 5, 2022, by the National Prosecutor’s Office, “it will be necessary, among other things, to complete the analysis of all physicochemical, mechanical-visual, and aforementioned medical-forensic opinions. So far, the prosecutor’s office has not yet received all the opinions from the field of physicochemical research ordered in renowned foreign scientific centers. Before the completion of these works, any prejudiced reporting on the causes of the catastrophe will be unwarranted speculation.”

    “There is no doubt that what TVN24 has done is the realization of Kremlin’s interests. It is the defense of Vladimir Putin’s policy and the defense of the position of the Russian Federation. TVN systematically defends the Russian position, which attempts to shift the responsibility for the Smolensk crime onto Poland, a crime committed by the Kremlin,” Antoni Macierewicz, senior marshal of the Sejm and head of the Smolensk subcommittee, assessed in an interview with GPC. The National Prosecutor’s Office issued a statement exposing the fake news from TVN24.pl’s publication.

    In summary, TVN24 undermined the credibility of the Smolensk subcommittee’s report, which is the official position of the Polish state, by promoting and legitimizing the Russian version of the tragic events. One can ask a rhetorical question: Is this not the promotion of views that the Kremlin would agree with?

    Founder’s Sin

    Not insignificant for the editorial line of the media conglomerate from Wiertnicza are the “founder’s sins” associated with it, particularly the connections of its main animators and owners to the special services of the Polish People’s Republic (PRL).

    “When we recall the current owner of TVN's ties to Russians, we can say that history has come full circle. Just before the Round Table talks (at the end of December 1988) in Luxembourg, Swiss lawyer Joseph Ackermann and his secretary established ITI Holdings, with Jan Wejchert serving on the supervisory board and Mariusz Walter becoming the company's auditor. At the same time, ITI Panama had already existed in Central America for five years. It was the shares of this company, worth $800,000, that formed the share capital of ITI Holdings. And it was precisely ITI Panama (as revealed by former ITI shareholder Stanisław Balcerac) that paid out colossal "dividends" to ITI Holdings in subsequent years,” wrote Grzegorz Wierzchołowski for "Gazeta Polska."

    As the columnist pointed out, the events of 1983 appear crucial for understanding the origins of TVN.

    "On February 22 of that year, Jerzy Urban, in a letter to Czesław Kiszczak, wrote about the idea of establishing a special unit within the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MSW) to prepare anti-Solidarity propaganda and improve the image of the security forces. He proposed Mariusz Walter, the future co-owner of the ITI Group and founder of TVN, as the head of this unit, who had been a communist television journalist in the Polish People's Republic. In his letter, Urban described Walter as 'the most talented television editor in Poland, an organizer and conceptualist, a member of the Polish United Workers' Party (PZPR).'"

    In 1983, Grzegorz Żemek, the future head of FOZZ (Foreign Debt Servicing Fund – ed.) and a secret collaborator of military intelligence, became the head of the Credit Department at Bank Handlowy International in Luxembourg. And on May 12 of the same year, ITI Panama, founded by Tauber in a tax haven, was established. A year later, Mariusz Walter registered the Polish ITI, which received a concession from the authorities of the Polish People’s Republic to import electronic equipment from abroad and distribute films on video cassettes in Poland. Contrary to the later “legend” (from video tape traders to millionaires), this company did not have any significant financial influence on the creation of TVN in the 1990s, as the sponsored Luxembourg-based ITI Holdings, founded in 1988, played a crucial role here.

    In 1984, Jan Wejchert became Walter’s partner in ITI. Since 1976, Wejchert had been the head of the Polish branch of the Frankfurt-based company Konsuprod. In the 1980s, Wejchert had contact with Żemek, who, let’s recall, started working in Luxembourg at the same time Tauber established ITI Panama in the tax haven, apparently having nothing to do with Poland at that time.

    Testifying in the trial related to the FOZZ scandal, Żemek recounted, “After consultations with Pospieszyński [Ryszard Pospieszyński, responsible within the II Directorate of the General Staff of the Polish Army for placing agents in the media sphere – ed. note], I received a task from the military special services to find a foreign company that could serve as a Trojan horse, meaning it could be used to introduce agents in the field of media in the West.”

    Żemek added before the court, “At that time, I was the director of the Credit Department at Bank Handlowy International [in Luxembourg]. During those discussions with Wejchert, I met his associates, including Mariusz Walter. They suggested to me that if there was a need to organize – to find cover for agents operating in the media field and finance them – it would be best to create an international conglomerate with the involvement of Film Polski. (…) However, I admit that I faced pressure from the special services, whether it was from Pospieszyński, to quickly organize this media conglomerate in the West. As a result, the first phase of creating this conglomerate began,” as reported by Grzegorz Wierzchołowski in “GP” magazine.

    The company that controls TVN collaborates with people close to Putin

    Under the recent address of Polish Television Holding BV, a Dutch company that is the majority shareholder of TVN, several companies from tax havens implicated in the “Panama Papers” scandal were registered, according to “Gazeta Polska.” Meanwhile, the American company Discovery, which currently controls TVN through Polish Television Holding, operates in the Russian market in partnership with individuals closely associated with Vladimir Putin.

    TVN is currently owned by the American conglomerate Discovery, although the law – passed long before the rule of PiS (Law and Justice party) – clearly states that a concession can be granted to a foreign entity whose registered office or permanent residence is located in a member state of the European Economic Area. Therefore, when Discovery acquired TVN three years ago, a legal maneuver was used: formally, the owner of the TVN media group is the Dutch-registered company Polish Television Holding BV, which has been controlled by Discovery since 2018.

    The entity managing a multi-billion-dollar asset and a media group with overwhelming influence on public life in Poland now has its registered office at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport (which is, of course, a "virtual office"), without employing any staff.

    The previous formal owner of TVN, Polish Television Holding, was registered at the famous address of De Boelelaan 7 in Amsterdam within the circles of Dutch finance until 2018. In the office building where fictitious shell companies are registered to avoid taxation, circumvent regulations, or launder money.

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