Disclosure of personal data of Honorata Kaczmarek – application to ECtHR
Honorata Kaczmarek made an application to the European Court of Human Rights arguing, among other things, that her right to privacy had been violated. The case involves the publication of Ms Kaczmarek’s personal data during a notorious press conference. The conference was organised in August 2007 to reveal the findings of the investigation into a leak of information on the Central Anti-corruption Bureau’s (CBA) operation in the Ministry of Agriculture.
During the conference a recording was played of a conversation between Honorata Kaczmarek and the former Chief Commissioner of the Police, Konrad Kornatowski. The recording was obtained as a result of using covert investigative methods. Ms Kaczmarek was a witness in the case and the recorded conversations related to the offence of false testimony and obstruction of justice.
“The name of the applicant, her home address in Gdynia, the location of a company owned flat occupied by her husband and her voice became a public record”, says Adam Bodnar representing Ms Kaczmarek in the proceedings before the ECtHR. “The CAB collected information allegedly relating to the offence of false testimony and obstruction of justice but these data could never have been used as evidence. Nevertheless, they were declassified and publicised”, add Mr Bodnar.
The case of unlawful publication of details from the investigation into the above mentioned leak was examined by the prosecutor’s offices, first in Warsaw, then in Rzeszów and _a_cut. Gradually, though, leads in the case were dismissed, one by one. After four and half years, in February 2012, the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Rzeszów dismissed the lead concerning the disclosure of Ms Kaczmarek’s personal data. The District Court for Warszawa Mokotów needed over a year to proceed the complaint against the dismissal decision, only to discontinue the proceedings due to the running out of the statute of limitations.
Ms Kaczmarek requested many times that the Prosecutor’s Office destroy all the stenographic reports of her conversations collected by means of covert investigative methods. Yet the Office refused to do it claiming that the applicable laws had not allowed their destruction.
In her application to the Strasbourg Court Ms Kaczmarek argues her rights to privacy and to an effective remedy have been violated. According to the applicant the investigation into the circumstances of the disclosure was excessively long and the case was not properly examined due to the running out of the statute of limitations and other factors. In addition, she points out that her request for destruction of the information obtained through the use of covert investigative methods was disregarded.