Man convicted of insulting Polish President
September 17, 2012
The administrator of antykomor.pl website that lampooned Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski was sentenced on Friday to six hundred hours of community service and ordered 15 months of restriction of liberty for insulting the president.
The website administered by a student Robert Frycz, contained spots articles and games ridiculing President Komorowski. Frycz has repeatedly said that antykomor.pl was “satirical.”
Last year, in May, Frycz’s flat was raided and searched by officers of the Internal Security Agency (ABW), acting on a prosecutor’s office warrant. Frycz’s laptop was confiscated and the website shut down. It was, however, later reactivated on a foreign server.
“I decided to re-launch it to protest against the repressions I was subjected to,” Frycz then told reporters.
The case has raised much controversy in Poland, with the lampooner’s supporters saying that the sentence threatened the concept of freedom of speech.
President Komorowski distanced himself from the case and said he was unaware of ABW's plans for the initial raid.
“ABW reported the issue of anti-presidential website to the prosecutor on its own initiative. Without ABW’s notification of the alleged offence, the case wouldn’t be commenced,” Prosecutor General Andrzej Seremet told the daily Rzeczpospolita .
Pursuant to the law, ABW should focus on combating serious threats to the internal security of the state like espionage, terrorism and drug trafficking.