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    Prosecutor Offended, Journalist Convicted. Pereira for Niezależna: It’s an Attempt to Create a Chilling Effect

    Three months of social work, 30 hours per month – that’s the sentence imposed by the District Court for the Capital City of Warsaw on Samuel Pereira, Deputy Director of the Television News Agency, for alleged defamation of Prosecutor Ewa Wrzosek. The case revolves around a tweet posted by the journalist at the end of 2021. The situation is bizarre because Pereira didn’t refer to his accuser in any way.

    Ewa Wrzosek is a prosecutor in Warsaw who doesn’t hide her political affiliations. She felt offended after Samuel Pereira’s tweet in 2021 and filed a private complaint against the journalist. The verdict was delivered on Thursday.

    “Today, Judge Agnieszka Modzelewska ruled that I supposedly insulted Ewa Wrzosek with the tweet about the mafia, drug dealers, and terrorists, even though I didn’t mention her and didn’t even think about her,” Pereira stated on the X platform, attaching a picture of the alleged defamation of the prosecutor.

    Pereira commented on the case in an interview with the Niezalezna.pl portal. He admitted that when he posted the tweet in December 2021, he didn’t even remember Ewa Wrzosek’s existence, which left him “very surprised.”

    She tried to convince me, and effectively convinced the court, that I meant something I didn’t. I don’t even know if this is “thought crime” because I didn’t even think about her – he remarked.
    Pereira also addressed the course of the trial. – The judge, supposedly associated with Iustitia, behaved very ambiguously. She didn’t hinder or impede Wrzosek’s statements in any way, but she constantly reprimanded me. She said I was speaking too loudly or too softly. When I asked something, she wondered if I had hearing problems and so on – he recalled.

    However, he emphasized that it’s not the judge’s behavior that’s most controversial but the verdict itself. – According to the court, there is no doubt that ‘the accused meant the accuser.’ To me, that alone is ridiculous. How can a judge dictate what was in my mind and what wasn’t? I didn’t mention Ewa Wrzosek’s name in my tweet, nor did I write anything indicating her. It wasn’t my intention to refer to her because if I wanted to, I would have mentioned her by name – he assessed.

    It’s an attempt to create a chilling effect, to silence certain individuals, indicating that they should just shut down, delete their accounts, and not participate in public debate. Others should be afraid, knowing that swimming against the current doesn’t pay off,” Pereira told us.
    The journalist emphasized that he disagrees with the verdict and will file an appeal.”

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