The court annulled the fine imposed on Radio ZET by the National Broadcasting Council

Luc Williams

On August 11, 2023, the chairman of the National Broadcasting Council, Maciej Świrski, imposed the highest fine in the history of Polish radio broadcasting on Radio ZET in the amount of PLN 476,000. PLN for alleged disinformation about the circumstances of the Ukrainian president's passage through Poland. It was about Mariusz Gierszewski's material “The Americans transported Zełenski in Poland. They did not ask the Polish services for help” from December 22, 2022.

The National Broadcasting Council does not comment on the matter

“The journalist's findings, verified by independent sources, showed that the high-profile scandal involving the police commander's grenade launcher led to a decline in trust in the Polish services. As a result, the Polish side knew about the arrival of the special train from Ukraine, but was not informed in advance that it was traveling before Volodymyr Zełenski in order to travel to the USA, Maciej Świrski arbitrarily concluded that the information provided by Radio ZET was fake news “contrary to the law, the Polish reason of state and the social good”, without presenting any evidence for this,” Radio ZET reported.

The broadcaster of Radio ZET protested against the fine imposed by the chairman of the National Broadcasting Council and appealed against this decision to the court. He considered Maciej Świrski's action to be intimidating and aimed at limiting freedom of speech and causing the effect of self-censorship, which would eliminate information from the media space that was inconvenient for the then government. In its appeal, the broadcaster emphasized, among other things, that Chairman Świrski significantly exceeded his powers.

On Monday, the Warsaw District Court agreed with the broadcaster's arguments, resolving the dispute in favor of Radio ZET. The National Broadcasting Council does not comment on the matter. As KRRiT spokeswoman Teresa Brykczyńska told PAP, for now the Council cannot comment on the case because it has not yet received the justification for the judgment.


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