Wardynski & Partners attorney Zuzanna Rudzinska-Bluszcz has won a claim of wrongful detention on behalf of a client she represented pro bono.
The Plock Regional Court determined in a ruling of July 10, 2014, that Boguslaw Pyrak had been wrongly detained for over 12 months, and awarded Pyrak nearly PLN 145,000 (approximately EUR 35,000) in damages.
Pyrak’s case dragged out over two decades. According to a Wardynski & Partners press release, “in the 1990s [Pyrak] was accused of committing offences related to his operation of an agricultural cooperative, including theft, fraud, and using forged documents. According to the courts which ordered Pyrak to be held under arrest, he obstructed the proceedings by presenting questionable medical certificates alleging that he was ill. But the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights submitted an opinion as amicus curiæ showing that the position of the courts was prejudicial to the accused, and the evidence did not demonstrate that there were grounds to hold the accused pending trial. The criminal case ended in August 2012 with an acquittal by the Plock Regional Court. During the proceeding, the courts twice returned the indictment to the prosecutor to make up gaps in the evidence. In 2008, while the criminal case against Pyrak was still pending, the European Court of Human Rights issued a judgment finding that Pyrak’s detention violated numerous standards of the European Convention on Human Rights. The ECHR pointed out that the Polish court had not considered less restrictive measures, and for example had rejected a personal guarantee offered by Dr Marek Edelman, the late cardiologist and former leader of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and Senator Waclaw Strazewicz.”
According to Rudzinska-Bluszcz, “Boguslaw Pyrak sought moral damages for the injury he suffered, primarily in the form of violation of his personal dignity and deterioration of his health. He also sought damages for his financial loss, including lost profit in the form of the income from his farm, as well as the cost of treatment because of the health problems he suffered while being held in jail for over a year.”
The judgment is not yet final, and Rudzinska-Bluszcz says that because the judgment did not grant all of the relief sought, she may consider filing an appeal after reviewing the court’s written decision.