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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » April 23, 2008
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Ex Deputy Health Minister Detained
April 23, 2008   
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A court in £ód¼ ordered April 18 that former deputy health minister Jaros³aw Pinkas, who is suspected of corruption, should be detained for three months.

Prosecutors applied for him to be detained because they feared obstruction of justice and because Pinkas faces a prison term of 10 years if convicted. Charges against Pinkas concern his time as Warsaw's Cardiology Institute deputy director for clinical and organizational affairs in 2003-2005, prior to his term as deputy minister in 2005-2007, and are linked with a nationwide investigation into irregularities in tenders for the delivery of medical equipment as well as tenders for outsourcing services for public health care providers.

Prosecutors allege Pinkas accepted a bribe of at least zl.50,000 and a pen worth almost zl.3,000 in exchange for helping a company win a contract with the Cardiology Institute. They also allege he ordered a company which had been awarded a contract for laboratory diagnostics services in 2003-2005 to cover the cost of redecorating offices occupied by the director of the institute. The redecoration work cost almost zl.55,000.

For the time being the investigation into corruption in the health service is focusing on the years 2001-2007. Prosecutors have said that officials from several suppliers of medical equipment and laboratory products and from companies seeking to take over hospital laboratories throughout the country bribed public health care staff to help them win contracts. Charges have already been leveled against over 30 people.
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