Another hearing in case of priest accused of molesting minor

In two week’s time, on Friday, 12 September, at 9 a.m., the Regional Court in Koszalin holds another hearing in the case of Marcin K. The case involves the infringement of personal interests related to molestation of a minor by a priest. The Court will hear testimonies of Archbishops Marian Gołębiewski and Kazimierz Nycz via a video link.

Marcin K. has filed a lawsuit against Zbigniew R., the Kołobrzeg-Koszalin Diocese and St. Adalbert Roman Catholic Parish. The claimant requests an apology in the national edition of the Gazeta Wyborcza daily newspaper and Newsweek magazine and PLN 200,000 as compensation for moral damage caused by the priest’s sexual molestation.

“This trial is undoubtedly of a precedent nature. A majority of victims of paedophilia within the Church are usually unable to receive final sentences or are unable to seek justice due to expiration of time-limits for prosecution”, says Dr Adam Bodnar, Deputy President of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights. “The Foundation decided to become involved in the case because we concluded that the area is susceptible to serious human rights violations”, adds Dr Bodnar.

For several months Marcin K., then aged 12, was molested by the parish priest Zbigniew R. who was convicted in December 2012 with a final court judgment. The priest is currently serving a two-year prison term.

In October 2013 a conciliatory hearing took place before a District Court in Koszalin. During the conciliatory hearing, the attorney for the St. Adalbert Parish and the Kołobrzeg-Koszalin Diocese argued that there were no grounds to hold the Church authorities responsible for the acts committed by the former parish priest. Counsel for Zbigniew R. said, on his part, that a settlement would be unreasonable at the current stage of the proceedings.

Mr Wojciech Dobkowski has agreed to represent Marcin K. pro bono as a courtesy to the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights.

The HFHR observes the case.


September 17, 2019

Паролі, антывірусы, шыфраванне дыскаў: трэнінг Школы лічбавай бяспекі DSS375

У Беларускім доме правоў чалавека імя Барыса Звозскава ў верасні 2019 года адбыўся трэнінг лічбавай бяспекі для праваабаронцаў, грамадскіх актывістаў і незалежных журналістаў.

September 16, 2019

Much-needed reforms to Council of Europe reprisal mechanism

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, has announced much-needed reforms to the human rights body’s “reprisal mechanism” – launched in May 2017 to ensure “human rights defenders… never face retribution for their principled stance.”

September 9, 2019

HRHF priorities at Human Rights Council 42

Gain insight into HRHF’s priorities alongside partners for the 42nd session of the United Nations Human Rights Council #HRC42. The Council session will run from 9-27 September 2019.