Polish court asks European Parliament to waive Guy Verhofstadt’s immunity

The District Court for Warszawa- Śródmieście will ask the European Parliament to waive the immunity of the liberal Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt. The case concerns the statements of the MEP who described the participants of the Independence March 2017 as "60,000 fascists, Nazis and white supremacists".

‘The right of a common court to forward a request to waive the immunity of a MEP is the exercise of a citizen's right to a court. By adopting the opposite interpretation, asserting rights against a MEP would appear only as a formal power which can never be effective’ said att. Filip Wołoszczak from the Centre for Process Intervention, Ordo Iuris.

The private indictment on behalf of Doctor Bawer Aondo-Akaa (a Polish pro-life activist) was lodged by the lawyers of the Ordo Iuris Institute. In May this year, the District Court for Warszawa-Śródmieście issued a decision to discontinue the proceedings. The court pointed out, there was no legal basis to forward the injured party's request to waive the immunity of Verhofstadt.

However, lawyers from the Institute appealed against this decision. The Provincial Court in Warsaw granted the complaint, revoking the District Court's decision.

“We hope that the MEP in the European Parliament will explain to the victim (Dr Bawer Aondo-Akaa ) why he used such offensive words against him,” said the Director of the Process Intervention Centre, Ordo Iuris.

The Independence March in 2017 according to the Police attracted some 100,000 participants and was peaceful and dominated by thousands of Poles carrying their national colours. However, it was the presence of some elements from the Polish and international radical right which attracted most attention of foreign media.

After the Belgian MEP Guy Verhofstadt called its participants ‘fascists’ and ‘white supremacist’ Doctor Bawer Aondo-Akaa sued him for a violation of personal rights.

He is represented by a Polish legal think tank Institute for Legal Culture Ordo Iuris.