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Million zloty in damages awarded for undoubtedly illegitimate detention

Aleksander Broda was appointed the Chief Historic Preservation Officer in 1999. In 2001 he was arrested and spent about a year in custody. Prosecutors alleged that he had taken a bribe in return for granting an illegal co-payment for the renovation of the historic granary located in the town of Borowno. The criminal investigation in this case took more than 10 years and was concluded with the final acquittal of Mr Broda. A first-instance court has awarded him million zloty as compensation for the moral injury sustained due to his illegitimate incarceration.

In February 2014, the District Court in Częstochowa acquitted Mr Broda on all counts. This judgment was later affirmed by the Regional Court in Częstochowa. Presented evidence clearly indicated that Aleksander Broda had opposed unjustified reimbursement of public monies to an investor.

In March 2015, the Supreme Court affirmed the previous judgment and held that the accusations against Aleksander Broda had been groundless and the man was innocent. The Supreme Court decided that the complaint in cassation submitted by a prosecutor was manifestly ill-founded. In light of the reasons for the acquittal, argued the Supreme Court, Mr Broda had not only not committed any crime in relation to the restoration of the historic granary, but had acted solely in the public interest.

“In our opinion, the judgement of the Regional Court in Częstochowa issued in the matter of compensation for moral injury and financial losses sustained by Aleksander Broda may have a very positive effect on the judicial practice of awarding compensation for moral injury resulting from the application of clearly illegitimate detention”, says Michał Kopczyński, a lawyer working with the HFHR. “The million awarded to Mr Broda is something more than the actual compensation for the suffering and tragedy that his detention caused in his life, both private and professional. For us, it is also a firm condemnation of the defective and undoubtedly illegitimate conduct of the prosecution service”, Mr Kopczyński adds.

The HFHR has been observing the trial. The judgment is not yet final.

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