Monday, October 31, 2005


I received a letter from Sebastian Kornhauser the other day via the Polish Police and Administrative Corruption page. Mr. Kornhauser wrote because has been involved in a six month ordeal in Poland in which he had his room ransacked and his computer stolen by the Polish Secret Police, was jailed without a trial, and while in prison, was beaten, humiliated and otherwise tortured. The bureaucracy behind this was of course nebulous and under-the-table; he has been refused the rights to copy his court documents and has only just been released from Poland within the last couple of weeks.

Sound familiar?

Well folks this is exactly the sort of thing I have been fighting for the last three years. I am reprinting the letter Sebastian Kornhauser sent me as well as his story here because it needs and deserves to be told. I’ll also reprint as soon as it is possible the article written about his experiences in the Warsaw Gazzetta.

You can address comments either to here or to Mr. Kornhauser.

The Letter:

Dear Mr. Adam Goodman,

Greetings from London. Thank you for your email and for your kind advice tips. They are something I have had to learn through trial and error throughout my 6 month ordeal in Poland.
I am very sorry to hear of your trauma in Poland. The issue of withholding your passport is absurd but very realistic in Poland. It sounds like a complete nightmare. The authorities go out of their way to make life as difficult as possible for you, I have learnt this through my own experience.

The court in Krakow has not allowed me to photocopy pages from my court file. I know that there is much information which will be very important for me should I want to take Poland to the European Courts of Justice in the future.

With regards to my story I am enclosing details of it as you have asked in word format for you to read together with a JPEG format letter from the Office of the Polish President. I have attached the article which was featured in their national paper "Gazeta Wyborcza".

If my problems in Poland are familiar to you and it is of interest, you are welcome to publish it if you would like to.

I look forward to hear from you at a time of your convenience and wish you well.

Yours sincerely,

Sebastian Kornhauser
Tel: +44 (0)207 610 9988

The Story:

30th October 2005
RE: Complaint against Poland
Unlawful and Extrajudicial Activity by the Polish police.

In light to what has happened I wish to write my story for investigation and publication concerning the severity of state persecution against me which resulted in unlawful detention without trial in Poland and the ‘charges’ of espionage against me. There are people who know what they have been framed for and there are those who don’t know. I am one of them. Throughout the past 6 months I have been persecuted and hunted in Poland by the state and by a corrupt police force in Krakow for reasons which defy understanding. On Thursday 13th October 2005 I left Poland never to return again.

Krakow, a town in southern Poland is the ancestral home where my fore parents once lived during the times of the Austro Hungarian Empire up until the Second World War. Between 1941 and 1943 many of them have been arrested in Krakow and placed on deportation trains to Auschwitz concentration camp where they have been murdered.

Outside the United Kingdom, the places of choice where I once considered living in were the Czech Republic, Poland and Scandinavia. I took into account the ability to communicate in Polish, a reasonably good local knowledge of the country, Polish nationality, some cultural ties, and as factors for consideration. The collapse of the language barrier, good value for money combined with a strong exchange rate from the pound and cheaper costs of living were decisive arguments. I came from London to live in Krakow at the end of 2004. At the same time working to provide business export solutions to Polish manufacturers nationwide throughout Poland.

Amongst others, some of the contracts I was engaged in were the export of radar components and tank tracks to Bolivia, then at a later stage I coordinated the negotiations and export contracts for munitions, ordinance, air defence systems and surface to air missiles between Polish armament manufacturers and the Ministry of defence of India in New Delhi, in the capacity of a government and defence consultant. The vision I had was to arrange for the complete overhaul of India’s aging air defence system and create long term business opportunities beneficial to Polish manufactures such as ZMT ‘Zaklady Mechaniczne in Tarnow’ the manufacturers of anti aircraft guns and Zaklady Metalowe Mesko in Skarzysko Kamienne the manufactures of munitions and the GROM surface to air missile as well as for the Indian government by organising tenders for the procurement of combined packages, its delivery and supply to the armed forces inclusive with guarantees, servicing and spare parts throughout the whole of the Indian sub continent.
I did not know that other polish state owned / state sponsored defense export agencies comprised of ex communist party members from the previous government and the secret services from the former SB already operate an unofficial covert blanket monopoly over the international export of the entire Polish defense industry. I once believed in fair competition, honesty, integrity and transparency as the fundamental hallmarks of professionalism in consultancy but these qualities landed me in prison where I was detained without trial. There are people who cannot stomach clarity, transparency and a direct service approach in the arms trade. In an irony of paradoxes it was transparency and professional integrity which brought trouble to me. It defies understanding how unclear, murky and dishonest corporate business in Poland can be.

On 5th May 2005 14 men from a special under cover police force stormed my flat in Krakow without a warrant dressed in black with machine guns and dogs to arrest me. They ripped up and threw away my Israeli flags which were hanging by the windows and smashed CDs in the flat. This can only be understood as an act of malice and anti Semitism. They abducted me from my home by stealth. That evening I have been severely beaten, kicked, punched and grievously assaulted by two plain clothes police officers at Ul. Simierackiego 24 police investigative centre in Krakow.

Everything was organized in secrecy. Transportation and movement through the city of Krakow to and from different police stations in different unmarked cars, the appearance at the preliminary summary hearing on Saturday 7th May 2005. During this process the secret police fitted me with an orange harness with hand cuffs attached on each side as an idea that will prevent me from escaping. The hearing lasted less than 15 minutes. The judge, (SSR Artur Szymanski) did not seem much older than me. He wore blue jeans and white Addidas trainers. During the brief hearing he donned on a black cloak and played judge. This was the first real picture of polish justice for me which in my mind depicted a lack of judicial integrity. No one knew of my whereabouts or about the fact that I have been arrested, kidnapped and detained without trial. I was forbidden access to see a doctor to tend to the bruising in an extraordinary effort to cover up and evade responsibility and criminal accountability. An escort of 5 armed men was with me at all times.

It was clear that someone had used associates in the judiciary and the polish secret service in Krakow as go betweens under the guise of an already corrupt justice system to initiate a malicious prosecution. The charges against me were vague and unclear. The secret service stole my lap top consisting of many years of work and research together with XDA mobile phones, CDs and memory sticks in an effort to silence me, destroy evidence of my work and put me out of business through theft.

The legal pretext of the local authorities for this extrajudicial arrest and detention in Poland was for the possession of blank firing pistols without a permit. The real motive behind this action was to seize privileged information from documents and the lap top.

The police in Krakow in cooperation with the prosecutor’s office have broken every legal protocol in a desperate effort to find legal grounds to detain me. Recently the prosecutor at the organized crime section has accused me of being a foreign spy in possession of state secret information and indicted me of espionage.

The justification received from the regional judiciary was that the Polish courts legally considered me as a Pole on the basis of Polish documents on Polish territory but chose to hold me in captivity on the basis of Israeli nationality, noting that Israel does not have an extradition treaty with Poland. I believe the matter is a cover to disguise a hidden motivation of political and corporate reasons if not anti Semitic sentiment as a secondary issue. There are stealth motives at work. Painted over under the guise of justice to vilify and criminalize me in an attempt to tarnish my reputation. A method used effectively by the state to remove unwanted competition.

The legal definition used by polish courts to detain people without trial is called ‘temporary arrest’. (Tymczasowy Areszt) It lasts for a minimum of three months and is automatically extended by another three months once the first three months draw to an end. In most cases temporary arrests are extended again and again for prolonged periods of time for a maximum of two years. This detention without trial is primarily designed as a method of state repression in order to make many of the innocent people held without trial for long periods of time to admit to crimes they have been accused of which they did not commit in order to be released. Many people are detained without trial on the basis of circumstantial and hearsay evidence. Once an admission of guilt is accepted, the prosecutor makes an order for release. In turn, the prosecutor is credited with every guilty plea accepted as the admission is deemed ‘voluntary’. Everyone who is temporarily detained prefers to be found guilty by law in order to be freed quickly instead of being detained indefinitely without trial. This pressure to obtain an admission is achieved by cause, consequence and effect. The polish justice system operates a practice of guilty until proven innocent by extracting guilty pleas through force of circumstance. The extraction of pleas of guilt from people amounts to state persecution caused by unlawful incarceration and harassment. This method is illegal under the Human Rights Act as it is done so under duress.

This is nothing new. Over the years people in Poland who have lived through the Communist regime have become passively accustomed to the law being manipulated in Poland as a mechanism for state abuse. Everyone is conscious that extrajudiciality happens. Whilst Communism has dissolved the mentality and practices of the state have not. As the saying in Polish goes;‘Daj nam czlowieka a znajdziemy na niego paragraf’. It translates; ‘Give us a person and we will find something to charge him for’.

There is a comprehensive lack of transparency inside the polish justice system which to the present day is corruptible on the premise of inherent flaws from the past, robbed of judicial integrity. The judicial system remains unreformed and designed as a mechanism to repress people without trial. State repression exists without anyone knowing it still exists. Guidelines are out of date and lack credible legitimacy. There is enormous confusion about previous legislation and the present one. Laws are misinterpreted. Procedures are suited to convenience and not followed through. Without accountability before anyone the prosecutor who himself holds immunity from prosecution - does as he sees fit. ‘Law and justice’ in Poland is blurred, confused and vague, open to exploitation and abuse. The institution is rife with incitement, political, social and cultural intolerance. Institutional discrimination is widespread. Polish authorities abuse human rights in very possible way they can by using devious baits, tactics and loop holes against people whilst at the same time evading responsibility and accountability for it by covering up perpetrated abuses inside police custody.

Poland declares itself as a new member state of the European Union and a member of NATO, the Polish government speaks of Poland as a bastion of justice and respect for human rights. It makes claims to be a civil, liberal, tolerant and democratic society compatible to its membership of the European Union. The truth of the matter is that there is no respect for human dignity in Poland when people are stitched up and detained without trial on political grounds on the premise of circumstantial and hearsay evidence. The European Commission does not know what is really going on whilst Poland continues to exercise power without responsibility through the perpetration of lawless acts.

The ‘authorities’ in Krakow had detained me without trial for three months at Montelupich prison on the basis of suspicion, hearsay and assumption. I was trapped in a legal black hole and held in limbo. Between May and August 2005 I have been beaten by a number of the prison guards at this prison. The prison guards have treated me like an animal on grounds of my Israeli nationality and far worse than other Polish inmates are treated. I wore the same clothes for two months because no one knew where I was and couldn’t bring me any fresh clothes. Detainees are allowed to shower once a week, usually on a Saturday.

The District Inspectorate of Prisons in Krakow had covered up abuses of degradation of Human dignity, claiming that allegations of abuses in their prisons are unfounded. The director of the detention centre at Montelupich prison in Krakow and the prison directorate have endeavored to cover up institutional discrimination against me.

Plk.mgr. Stanislaw Potoczny, the director of Montelupich prison refused me the rights to have kosher food delivered into the prison. He explained that although he was aware of the fact that I am an Israeli national, his records show that I am polish and he can justifiably avoid having to fulfill this requirement in accordance with polish law. ‘You will be treated by me as a Polish national in Poland, therefore you are not entitled to kosher food’ when I complained, the prison guards were spiteful towards me and gave me worse food from that of other detainees. Anti-Semitism runs deep under the guise of justice. The remarks made by prison guards have been very spiteful. ‘If you don’t stop complaining we’ll send you to Auschwitz and you will leave through the chimney just as your forefathers did’. Another guard opened the cell door and made Nazi salutes before me. One in particular, a fat guard known as Gruby 4 Paski smacked me across the face many times and dragged me by force across the corridor to different cells. He was the coordinator of the internal prison riot squad used to quash riots inside prisons as they arose. There is extreme overcrowding in polish detention centers which are run down and in severe disrepair. There are over 1’000 people detained without trial at Montelupich prison in Krakow. People are locked down for 23 hours a day in cells ranging from 2, 3, 6, 12 and 14 people in one room with an opportunity for a one hour exercise period in a blue razor wire bird cage which is the size of 4 living rooms. The treatment of detainees without trial in Poland is possibly worse than that of detainees held in Camp Delta in Guantanamo Bay Cuba, the US administered detention centre. This is based on the treatment / abuse of detainees, shortages of space, food.

There was one man with whom I had shared a cell with in the first month who helped me in everyway a person could be helped. His name is Jerzy Wojtas. Mr. Wojtas is terminally ill and frail. He is waiting for an urgent kidney transplant inside the prison or else he will soon die. During Communism he had been held for over 10 years and was beaten many times a day, he has plastic organs because his kidney and other vital organs have been so badly damaged by the beatings meted out by polish prison guards, he has had several bypass operations over a space of a few years. Mr. Wojtas also needs a new set of false teeth as all of his original teeth have been knocked out whilst he was routinely clubbed and beaten across the face with batons. Detained people are treated with abject cruelty and barbarity by prison guards who have worked in the ‘Sluzba Wiezienna’ for many years. Mr. Wojtas bought me, tea, coffee, food and cigarettes for I had no money and no means to buy anything from the prison canteen which was available once every 10 days. It was available on the 5th, 15th and 25th of each month. Mr. Wojtas was able to pass on information about my detention to a military lawyer who was in a position to help me. However, as legal aid in Poland is a bureaucratic quango she was able to represent me once someone was able to cover her costs. Friends in London paid her. The military lawyer is called Mrs. Wieslawa Chmielowska, adwokat i obronca wojskowy, Kancelaria Adwokacka, Plac Dominikanski 5, 31-043 Krakow, Poland Tel No: +48 (0)12 422 1716. Her conduct was very professional.

On 1st June 2005 I wrote to inform the regional court in Krakow of the abuse and requested to be released from detention without trial. The court replied.

Sad Rejonowy dla Krakowa Srodmiescia Sygnatura akt IIkp 842/05/S
Wydzial II Karny Krakow dnia 10 czerwca 2005r
Ul. Przy Rondzie 7 Do sygn. 3 Ds. 1712/05
31-547 Krakow
Prokuratura Rejonowa
Krakow – Srodmiescie Zachod

Sad Rejonowy dla Krakowa – Srodmiescie w Krakowie Wydzial II Karny w zalaczeniu przesyla zgodnie z wlasciwoscia pismo podejrzanego Sebastiana Kornhausera z dnia 1.06.2005r stanowiac wniosek o uchylenie tymczasowego aresztowania. Jednoczesnie z uwagi na stawiane przez o zarzuty dotyczace bicia go przez funkcionariuszy Sluzby Wieziennej, ponizanie i psychologiczne torturowanie tresc przedmiotowego pisma moze stanowic takze zawiadomienie o przestepstwie.

Zastepca Przewodniczacego Wydzialu II Karnego
SSR Rafal Fidenkiewicz

The translation from Polish of the court decision is:

"Regional Court for Krakow Srodmiescie West 2nd
Section for Penal Affairs is forwarding a letter from
the accused Sebastian Kornhauser dated 1st June 2005
together with contents. The letter constitutes grounds
as a request for release from temporary arrest.
Furthermore, taking into account that the accused has
made allegations concerning beatings, physical abuse
against him by Prison functionaries from the Prison
Service, degradation and psychological torture, the
contents of the above aforementioned letter can also
be taken into account as grounds to inform the court
as official advice to report the fact that a crime has
been committed".

I remember from the prison the circumstances of another Polish inmate who was 70 years old. His name was Mateusz. He could not speak or grasp anything in his hands. He remained in a vegetative state throughout much of the time with prison infirmary nurses having to clean him every day and replace his prison clothing and nappies on a daily basis as he had very severe bowel problems. This man was vomiting and urinating and clearly needed to be in a hospital but was held in a prison because the nursing home in Poland refused to accept him. In this prison there was also a man in a wheel chair who had both his legs amputated. He was detained there for failing to appear in the regional court in Krakow on the forth floor on a charge of defamation of the church for urinating in his wheel chair outside the church in the Krakow main square because he could not find a toilet. The court amenities are not facilitated towards the needs of people with disabilities so it was impossible for him to reach the forth floor and attend. There have been so many abuses and severe human rights violations against me and other people at this detention centre by the prison guards that I cannot begin to remember due to psychological problems and post traumatic stress. Many of the inmates who were held at Montelupich prison from all over Poland have warned me unilaterally that the most violent and corrupt police force and prosecutors office from all of Poland is in Krakow. People are set up, framed, abused and beaten on a regular basis. The under cover ‘police’ in Krakow is the organized crime gang itself who is funded by the state on tax payers money. They are there to make sure that the greatest crimes and acts of injustice in Poland take place under the guise of justice. Crimes against persons and individuals in Poland are legitimized if they are committed by the police, the prosecution or members of the secret service.

For a long time, no one in Britain knew what had happened to me. The detained are under the direct supervision of the prosecutor who does all he can to prevent correspondence going in and out. The polish did everything they could do to prevent people and friends in Britain from being informed of my whereabouts. There is nothing the detained can do once isolated inside a foreign prison and locked down. Friends in Britain have shown me letters which have been returned back from Poland. All my letters addressed to polish newspapers had been returned back to me as the prosecutor did not want publicity.

Letter of 12th July 2005 sent to Montelupich Prison but returned back to Britain.
‘OK, let me rewind back. I have made contact with the British embassy in Poland, who is working with the Foreign Office in London finding out what is happening, the Foreign Office in London said that because you have dual nationality and you are in Poland you are treated as a Polish national, due to Polish law. There are two people in the Foreign Office in London that I’m dealing with and their names are Nalini Sadai and Dave Mailer, they have been liaising with the poles in Warsaw. Just in case you need the number it is 0207 008 0138. Can you give me full details of exactly why you have been imprisoned? Is there a court date? You need to fill me in on everything so that I can pass it onto the foreign office here. This is the number of the British embassy in Poland just in case you need it. +48 (0)22 311 0000’. Be strong. Mike

Since May 2005 I have received letters from the Regional and District courts as well as from the Office of the Polish president and the spokesperson for civil rights in Warsaw (Rzecznik Praw Obywatelskich). One letter from the House of Commons in London from the office of Michael Howard also got through to me in the prison about this unprecedented case.

After the prison inspectorate interviewed me about multiple and widespread abuses in Montelupich prison, the director became concerned over his future career as governor. He ordered for my immediate removal and transportation to Czerneckiego prison in Krakow Podgorze on the same day. This happened within 2 hours of my interview with the prison inspectorate. Czerneckiego prison is another detention centre in Krakow located in the former Jewish ghetto once used by the Gestapo. The conditions have not improved much there since the Second World War. I was released from Czerneckiego prison two days later on the authority of the presiding Judge at the Regional Court for Krakow Srodmiescie West who recognized the fact that I suffer from claustrophobia and that I have been abused, tormented and terrorized by prison guards.

Details of the director and the remand centre in Krakow are:
Plk.mgr. Stanislaw Potoczny
Dyrektor, Areszt Sledczy w Krakowie
Ul. Montelupich 7
31-155 Krakow
Tel: +48 (0)12 630 11 00
Fax: +48 (0)12 633 53 54
Reference No: DOP-0510/55/05/S

It is impossible to gain conventional recourse to justice in Poland. The only coherent breakthrough out of this abuse of law is to contact international governments who can raise this unprecedented extrajudiciality with the government of Poland. One of the people who had apparently raised this issue informally with the authorities in Warsaw was Mr. Alexey Alexeyevich Gromov, the press Attaché for President Vladimir Putin in Russia from the Presidential Executive Office in Moscow. I found this out from my friend in Katowice who was tortured by the polish secret police last week who dragged him out of his home in the early hours of the morning on 19th October 2005 to question him at an undisclosed location about me and the information on my lap top for 48 hours. One of the questions asked of him was ‘why does Gromov know about it’? Why was he informed’? ‘Did you think we would not find out sooner or later’?

On Tuesday 27th September 2005 the Pravda newspaper in Russia sent details of this incident to the Press Service at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, however the publication have advised that the Foreign Ministry did not make an official declaration about this abuse of law in Poland. Clearly my friend could not have known that I have written to President Putin’s press secretary.

The polish authorities in Krakow have broken procedures and violated Polish law to abuse me in every possible way that a person can be abused. It remains unclear exactly why this is happening and what is happening, who is responsible for this and what the Polish wish to charge me for. The department for secret and classified information has become involved. One of the prosecutors in Krakow on condition of anonymity has hinted that the next case concerns espionage, state secrets and the acquisition of classified information pertaining to the development of advanced missile technology in Poland and that the matter has been referred to the national prosecutor in Warsaw. I believe the real motive for this state witch hunt against me is of a political nature.

The written decision from the police and prosecutor dated 12th May 2005 known as a protocol, lists my IT equipment, lap top, memory sticks, CDs and mobile phones as items of evidence which are be returned back to me immediately as they are of no use to the proceedings. However I have never seen them again and want my belongings returned back to me. There are thousands of documents and years of research work held on my lap top many of which have nothing to do with Poland I urgently need. Mrs. Wieslawa Chmielowska the polish military lawyer who had represented me had called this ‘a lawless and unjustified act’. This is theft and it is clear extraordinarily unlawful measures have been used to pursue a malicious prosecution. The office of the polish president does not want to resolve this incident because the Polish know that they have illegally abused the process of justice in a big way.

What has been done and what is still taking place is an affront to the principles of justice. The actions of this clandestine police force are unlawful and contrary to the Human Rights Act, the citizen’s charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Not to mention that this action is in violation of the EU – Israel Association Agreement 2000. Poland had signed this agreement in 2004 as one of the many prerequisites of joining the European Union on 1st May 2004. (I refer to the letter sent to me from Gunter Verheugen the European Commissioner on behalf of the European Commission for enlargement of 20th January 2004 to support my case). A further is a breach to the Israeli / Polish Free Trade Agreement of 1997.

With the presidential election in Poland over and the election of ultra conservative Mr. Kaczynski into the presidential office there is no guarantee that things in Poland will improve. Mr. Kaczynski and his ‘Law and Justice’ party have already made clear that they will build 4 new prisons and want Poland to be the first EU state to re instate the death penalty. I can already fore see how many innocent people will be amongst those on death row. Ruso phobia and Belarusophobia are strong in Poland. On the one hand the Polish complain that their ethnic minority in Belarus is being discriminated by the state of Belarus whilst on the other hand the Polish discriminate their own nationals and minorities in secrecy through stealth laws and extrajudiciality. This hypocrisy defies understanding. Poland does not want to respect the needs of its ethnic minority groups but instead has imposed a superficial threshold of ‘political correctness’ to look nice before the eyes of the European Union, the European Commission and the rest of the outside world.

The person who is familiar with this incident is Mr. Kazimierz Karasinski the British honorary consul at the British consulate in Krakow. Mr. Kazimierz Karasinski
Honorary Consul, British Consulate, 9 Sw. Anny Street, 31-008 Krakow, Poland
Tel: +48 (0)12 421 7030, Fax: +48 (0)12 422 4264, Mobile: +48 (0)602 220 501

In light of the severity of state persecution, cruelty and barbarity I have been subjected to over the past six months I have left Poland with a view not to return.

Sebastian Kornhauser

(Note: The complete text of his letter including the Polish Version of the Gazzetta article have been posted on the Police and Administrative corruption page for May 15th, 2005.)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home