- Dances With Bears - http://johnhelmer.net -

RADOSLAW SIKORSKI, ANNE APPLEBAUM CONCEAL 2015 INCOME FROM POLISH PARLIAMENT, CRIMINAL OFFENCE INVESTIGATION TO START

dwb_1806

By John Helmer, Moscow

The ex-Polish Foreign Minister and ex-Speaker of the Polish parliament, Radoslaw Sikorski, has failed to disclose his wife, Anne Applebaum’s (lead, right) income for 2015, in the annual disclosure required by Polish law for government officials and members of parliament. He has also failed to report his own income for several months of the year. Polish parliamentary staff say they are investigating before state prosecutors may be called in.

In 2014 Sikorski (pictured below) lost his job as Poland’s foreign minister after clandestine tape-recordings of restaurant conversations he had been having in Warsaw with other officials and Polish business figures revealed scatological opinions and an entirely different character from the one he and Applebaum had been declaring publicly. ““I’m honest”, Sikorski said [1]. “I am not into plotting and don’t steal.” He left office on September 22, 2014.

1806_1

An investigation by state prosecutors then commenced [2] into alleged abuses of office, including about 80,000 Polish zlotys ($25,000 in US dollar equivalent) spent on private car trips and on his official car to deliver pizza to his country house (below); payments to a British speech-writer; a birthday party; and wine bills.

1806_2

Source: http://monsieurb.neon24.pl/post/122477,radek-utajnil-oswiadczenie [3]

Sikorski was then appointed Marshal of the Sejm (Speaker of parliament). Polish law requires ministers of state, Sejm marshals, and elected deputies to file with the secretariat of the Sejm Marshal an annual statement of income and assets. Article 35 of the 1996 statute sets a deadline of April 30 for the disclosure of the preceding year’s income and assets.

For the Polish parliament and voters to learn whether a wife is being rewarded for influencing her husband in his official duties, and vice versa, the annual disclosure must include a line counting out the spouse’s income. Sikorski’s wife, an American blogger named Anne Applebaum, is paid to give public lectures and publish commentaries on foreign policy topics in which Sikorski has played an official role in the Polish government’s decision-making. The pair are among the most vocal Russia-haters, sanction-boosters, and NATO-promoters in eastern Europe. For a time also, Sikorski put his name forward to be Secretary-General of NATO, and High Representative for foreign affairs of the European Commission. For details of the his-and-her campaign for those jobs, read this [4].

Applebaum’s US and UK pay is required to be divulged, according to the Polish statute of May 9, 1996. The law starts by saying: “members [of the Sejm, parliament] and senators exercise their mandate for the good of the Nation. Members and senators should inform voters about their work and activities of the body to which they were elected.” Article 35 says: “members and senators are obliged to declare their financial standing. The statement of financial standing covers separate property and marital property held jointly.” Not only must Sikorski and Applebaum report their income and assets each calendar year. They must also reveal whether each of them, or both, have been given loans or credits, “and the conditions under which they were granted.”

Keep this last condition, Art. 35, Sect.1, Sub-Sect. 4, in mind for what follows, as you read on. For the full text of the law, click here [5].

For Sikorski, the reporting deadline for 2015 fell last Saturday, April 30. By then, if he and Applebaum failed to disclose what the law requires by concealment or by deceit, the official form says they will be subject to the Polish Criminal Code, Article 233, Section 1. If prosecuted and convicted – Applebaum is also a Polish national – they face jail terms of up to three years. Here is the Code [6].

1806_3

Sikorski’s home town, and his constituency as a Sejm deputy, is Bydgoszcz. Pictured is the town prison. Dating from 1780, it was used by the Gestapo until liberated by the Red Army in 1945.

In 2014’s filing, Section IX, last line, Sikorski revealed that Applebaum had earned 1,719,699.33 Polish zlotys (PLN). That was equivalent at the time to US$434,000. For details, read this [7]. In earlier years Sikorski has reported [8] the Applebaum takings in US dollars and British pounds, the currencies in which she was employed and earned the money. In 2012, her total came to the equivalent of $542,000; in 2013, $800,000. In 2014 the itemization of her US and UK earnings was eliminated, and the Polish currency substituted instead. The conversion helped hide the sources of Applebaum’s money. Still, this meant that between 2013 and 2014 the value of Applebaum to the Sikorski family till had been cut almost in half.

Sikorski took his seat (pictured below) as Marshal of the Sejm on September 24, 2014.

1806_4

He then ran into a fresh scandal in Warsaw, as secretly recorded tapes were published in the Polish press of restaurant conversations he had had with wealthy Polish businessmen and others. Sikorski was revealed as a lobbyist for the business interests of his friends, including Polish oligarch, Jan Kulczyk. For that story, click to open [9].

On June 23, 2015, under pressure from the Prime Minister, Eva Kopacz, to resign voluntarily or face replacement by the Civic Platform (PO) party, Sikorski resigned as Marshal of the Sejm. Kopacz acted to distance herself from the evidence of political and business favours, double-dealing and corruption revealed in the tapes [10]. From start to finish Sikorski was Marshal for exactly nine months. Although he stepped down as speaker, he kept his deputy’s seat — and salary. The Sejm rollcalls [11] reveal that Sikorski continued as deputy, casting his vote a total of fourteen times. The last vote he cast was on October 9. The parliament then went into recess for the election of October 25.

Sikorski’s PO party was defeated, and lost the prime ministry and government. He didn’t stand for re-election in Bydgoszcz. The term of his mandate ended the day before the new Sejm convened – November 11, Armistice Day.

1806_5

Retiring or defeated deputies in Poland receive a consolation prize of three months’ salary. For details, read this [12]. Sikorski thus remained on the taxpayers’ tab through December 31. By last week’s deadline, he was required to disclose what he and Applebaum had received for the entire 12-month period.

However, there is no record that Sikorski filed on that date. Instead of a full report of income and assets for the couple in 2015, documents available in Polish online now reveal that on July 7, 2015, Sikorski submitted to the parliamentary secretariat a minor correction of his 2014 declaration. This pointed out that a country house he had reported [13] earlier was his, not Applebaum’s, and added some minor income corrections.

Sikorski followed that with a hand-written statement, dated August 22. That was a deep summer, holiday Saturday. The receipt stamp at the Marshal’s office shows he filed the same day. Read it in full here [14].

1806_6

Sikorski reports his income for 2015 as Marshal was PLN 110,072.60, compared with PLN52,068.89 in the previous year. The monthly pay rate was up 5.6%. The equivalent was $28,619. Between his June resignation and the date of this filing, Sikorski reports receiving only one month of deputy’s pay, PLN 12,089 ($3,264). His pay for the months that followed is missing.

Applebaum (“dochody malzonki”) is identified at the last line of Sect. 9 of Sikorski’s August 22 disclosure form.

1806_7

Applebaum among her assets in Poland, according to Viva [15]

Here is the 2014 declaration for Applebaum, typewritten by Sikorski’s secretary, and filed on April 30, 2015:

1806_9

And here is Sikorski’s hand-written declaration of August 22:

1806_8

The number is exactly the same, and Sikorski makes no pretence – this, he writes, is what Applebaum earned “for 2014”. This means that Sikorski was not reporting Applebaum’s income, assets, credits or loans for 2015.

Sikorski was asked to explain why he has not filed a full income and asset report for himself for 2015. He was also asked to explain whether his marriage with Applebaum had ceased during last year, or what other reason there may be for the failure to disclose her income for the year. Through a spokesman in Bydgoszcz., Sikorski told Polish political analyst, Stanislas Balcerac [16], that his “statements of assets [had been] submitted in accordance with the regulations and with the facts.”

Asked again this morning to explain the non-reporting of his and her income for 2015, Sikorski did not reply.

Sources at the Sejm’s administration confirm they are investigating.