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POLAND: Tusk Testifies in Poland
Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, former Polish Prime Minister and PO founder arrived in Warsaw to testify. Tusk appeared in court to answer questions about the details surrounding the organization of a 2010 visit to Russia that ended with the presidential plane crashing, killing 96 top Polish officials. The trial is directed at the former head of Tusk’s office at the time he was PM and four other officials, who are accused of failings in the organization of the flight. Tusk already appeared as a witness in Poland while European Council President. Last year he answered questions about irregularities in a deal between Russian and Polish intelligence services. Same as then, a crowd of supporters appeared before the court ahead of the hearing.
Members of the PO opposition party have stated that calling Tusk to court is an element of political persecution and an attempt to undermine Tusk’s political capabilities in Poland. Tusk is widely seen as the only politician who has the capability of uniting the opposition and decisively winnig an election against Jarosław Kaczyński’s ruling PiS party. Top PiS officials, including Kaczyński, have suggested that Tusk himself should face criminal charges related to a number of ongoing investigations. The former PM’s involvement in Polish politics is growing, with him making more statements and interviews relating to domestic issues. As PiS is trying to create a bad environment for Tusk’s return to Poland, some are arguing that his former supporters are rallying behind him when they see him testifying. Still, there are parts of his political capital that he will be unable to rebuild before the presidential election.