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Visa scandals were under Tusk government says justice minister

Poland’s justice minister has alleged that corruption scandals linked to illegally granting visas first took place during government of Donald Tusk.

Zbigniew Ziobro also claimed that, unlike the government he serves in, the government of Tusk and Radosław Sikorski, a foreign minister, turned a blind eye to corrupt practices.

The incumbent Polish government is currently battling a slew of allegations that thousands of visas were issued by Polish consulates in return for bribes.

The allegations, first made in the press, have been seized upon by the opposition, which has used them to accuse a government that has made being tough on immigration a core policy of having double standards.

But Ziobro, who is also prosecutor general, told a press conference on Tuesday that the way Poland has handled the cash-for-visas scandal “is a model example of how a well-functioning state should reveal pathologies and quickly eliminate them.”

“Today’s high-profile case is proof of the very effective and decisive action of the Polish law enforcement agencies, the Central Anticorruption Bureau and the prosecutor’s office, which allowed us to handle this case in its early stages and bring the perpetrators to court to face criminal charges,” Ziobro said.

But, he added, “a completely different picture emerges from corruption cases related to the issuance of visas during the government of Donald Tusk and Mr (Radoslaw) Sikorski, when serious irregularities and even corrupt behaviour were revealed in the operation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as regards issuing visas.

Ziobro said that he called a press conference “to show that actual corruption scandals related to the process of illegally granting visas and allowing entry into the Schengen Zone, not only to Poland, took place during Donald Tusk’s government.”

The justice minister, who did not provide examples of the alleged wrongdoing, continued by claiming that instead of investigating and “eliminating the pathologies” the law enforcement agencies just pretended to do something.

Ziobro also said that the Sikorski “will inevitably have to be questioned”.

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