Criminal law, case II W 363/12

August 30th, 2012, Tomasz Rychlicki

A person who used a nickname “Leon z gazowni” wrote derogatory comments on Internet forum regarding the death of Polish soldiers in Afghanistan. Jacek Żebryk, a Polish soldier who served in Afghanistan, and whose friend died on the mission, informed the Prosecutor Office in Białogard about the possibility of committing a crime. The Prosecutor located the computer of Jerzy W. and charged him based on the provisions of Article 52a of the Polish Code of Offences – PCO – (in Polish: Kodeks wykroczeń) of 20 May 1971, published in Journal of Laws (Dziennik Ustaw) of 1971, No 12, item 114, with subsequent amendments.

1) publicly incites to commit a crime or tax offense,
2) publicly incites to violent action in order to prevent an act that constitutes source of universally binding law of the Republic of Poland,
3) publicly applauds a crime,
if coverage of the act or its effects were not significant – shall be liable to arrest, restriction of liberty or a fine.

The Regional Court in Środa Wielkopolska in its judgment case file II W 363/12 found the person guilty and fined him 100 PLN. The case was decided in the prescriptive procedure in criminal proceedings. Jerzy W. failed to appear at the hearing. He also did not file an appeal, so the judgment became final after 7 days.