Prosecutor’s office calls for stripping Supreme Audit Office head of his immunity

The Prosecutor-General has filed a motion to the Lower House for the revocation of the Supreme Audit Office head Marian Banaś’s immunity, the National Prosecutor’s Office told the Polish Press Agency on Friday.

The prosecutor’s office intends to accuse Mr Banaś of over a dozen instances of law violation, including suspected irregularities in his declaration of financial interests and tax declaration. The prosecutors argue that Mr Banaś deliberately understated the income from the lease of his tenant house in Kraków while filing his tax return form for the years of 2015-2020. This led to a loss of over PLN 50,000 (EUR 10,960) of due income tax on the part of the state, said the prosecutor’s office.

The investigators reported that Mr Banaś is also suspected of inveigling the head of the Revenue Administration in Kraków into lawless disclosure of information on the then-ongoing investigation of the Central Anticorruption Bureau (CBA) into his case and on an audit.

“In line with the investigation on the part of the prosecutor’s office, Marian Banaś understated the value of his financial resources in each of the 10 declarations of financial interest subject to an inspection by the CBA – declarations that Mr Banaś had been filing between November 2015 and August 2019 as the head of the Customs Service, the head of the National Fiscal Administration, the finance minister and the head of Poland's Supreme Audit Office. The understated value amounted to as much as PLN 550,000 [EUR 120,390]. Moreover, while filling his financial income declarations, Marian Banaś concealed an investment into a work of art, namely, a sculpture by an Italian artist and the income from the sales of the sculpture. The penalty for stating false in the declarations of financial incomes is five years behind bars,” the National Prosecutor’s Office said.

Mr Banaś’s son detained

On Friday, the CBA detained the head of the Regional Tax Authority Tadeusz G. [name withheld in line with Polish law] and social advisor of the Supreme Audit Office head Jakub B.

Jakub B. is the son of NIK head Marian Banaś, who confirmed the information about his detention. “My son was detained around 13:30 at the Kraków Balice airport while returning from vacation with his wife. The detention procedures were carried out by the Kraków branch of the CBA,” Mr Banaś wrote on Twitter.

According to the CBA, its officers from Kraków are carrying out an investigation into irregularities in financial interest declarations by a person acting as a public figure.

“During the proceedings, the investigators had gathered ample evidence that was then analysed. In line with the established premises, two procedures were carried out today [on Friday]. Jakub B., the adviser of the NIK head, was detained by CBA officers in the Małopolska province. Also in Małopolska and together with the officers of the Internal Audit Bureau of the Finance Ministry, the CBA officers detained the head of the Regional Tax Authority in Kraków Tadeusza G.,” the Social Communication Department of the CBA stated.

The CBA also said that “following the conclusion of procedural actions, the men will be transported to the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Białystok to face charges.”