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Procès concernant la Fondation Lux Veritatis

  • June 2021

The criminal trial of the Rev. Rydzyk and two other administrators of the Lux Veritatis Foundation (i.e. the Rev. Jan Król and Lidia Kochanowicz-Mańk, responsible for the foundation’s finances), a Polish religious organization founded in 1996 by two Redemptorists, has been in progress before the District Court of Warsaw-Wola for the past several weeks. The public life transparency organisation Watchdog has accused the aforementioned defendants of failing to disclose information concerning spending public funds.

On 7 June and 3 November 2016, Civic Network Watchdog Poland requested that the Lux Veritatis Foundation disclose certain public information. The requests pertained to projects financed using public funds, in particular to subsidies received from 2008 to 2016 and how they were spent (only in 2016).

Having received no response within the legally specified time limit, Civic Network Watchdog Poland submitted a formal complaint to the Voivodeship Administrative Court in Warsaw on 19 December 2016, requesting that not only the information be disclosed, but also that the court acknowledges that the failure to disclose it was a flagrant violation of law.

On 25 January 2017, Watchdog Poland decided to submit a notification of suspected criminal offence, believing that the failure to disclose the information was deliberate.
On 26 May 2017, the Lux Veritatis Foundation partially responded to the request by disclosing a list of the public subsidies it had received. As regards its expenditures, however, the foundation stated,
“Disclosing in-depth data about all expenditures related to projects for the purpose of which the Foundation made use of public funding, including the disclosure of the amount spent, dates, parties to the transactions and the purpose of the expenses, for the requested period, i.e. from 1 January 2016 onwards, is outside the scope of the statutory requirements related to public information disclosure.”

On 18 January 2018, Watchdog Poland submitted again a notification of suspected criminal offence.

On 4 June 2020, the prosecution refused to pursue the case.

On 19 June 2020, Civic Network Watchdog Poland brought a subsidiary indictment (case III K 555/20).

Minister of Justice and Prosecutor General Zbigniew Ziobro is evidently involved in the case, defending Tadeusz Rydzyk, head of the Lux Veritatis Foundation.

Since 9 April 2021, Radio Maryja and TV Trwam, two media which belong to the foundation, have attacked Watchdog Poland numerous times in their broadcasts. A campaign targeting Watchdog Poland is also underway, criticising its foreign funds and accusing the organisation of acting with the intent of destroying Catholicism in Poland.

In a Radio Maryja broadcast, Rydzyk stated, “since the beginning, our reputation has been tarnished by lies, slander, etc. because that is what you do if you want to destroy someone. That is what Hitler did, what Stalin did, what they did in Spain, in Mexico. That is what they did with Jerzy Popiełuszko – his reputation was tarnished, he was lynched in the media, and then murdered.”

D 1er septembre 2021    AMichał Zawiślak

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