Polish ex-deputy health minister charged with overstepping authority

A prominent Polish opposition politician was on Monday charged with overstepping his authority in a previous role as a government official, a news agency reported.
Sławomir Neumann talks to reporters after testifying to prosecutors in Jelenia Góra on Monday. Photo: PAP/Jan KarwowskiSławomir Neumann talks to reporters after testifying to prosecutors in Jelenia Góra on Monday. Photo: PAP/Jan Karwowski

The PAP news agency quoted the politician, Sławomir Neumann, as saying that he denied the charge brought against him by prosecutors in the southwestern city of Jelenia Góra.

A senior opposition lawmaker, Neumann heads the parliamentary caucus of the opposition Civic Platform (PO) party, which led a coalition government in Poland from 2007 to 2015.

Prosecutors believe that Neumann overstepped his authority in his onetime role as deputy health minister while acting to the financial benefit of a private medical clinic, the PAP news agency reported.

It quoted a spokesman for prosecutors, Tomasz Czułowski, as alleging that the Warsaw-based clinic obtained PLN 13.5 million (EUR 3.2 million, USD 3.6 million) in illegal financial gain as a result of Neumann’s actions.

Prosecutors suspect Neumann persuaded the director of a regional branch of the government-run National Health Fund in Poland’s central Mazowieckie province to sign an unprofitable contract with the eye clinic, PAP reported.

Neumann was earlier this year quoted as saying that the allegations were “absurd” and that the case “was previously investigated by an independent prosecutor’s office … and no breaches of the law were found.”

Neumann in May renounced his parliamentary immunity to face prosecutors, according to media reports.

Under the Polish constitution, the country’s senators and MPs enjoy parliamentary immunity and cannot be held criminally liable without the consent of their houses.

(gs/pk)

Source: PAP

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