The lawyer of the journalist Sviridov questioned the independence of the Polish court

© AP Photo / Alik KepliczРоссийский journalist Leonid Sviridov. Archival photoThe lawyer of the journalist Sviridov questioned the independence of the Polish court© AP Photo / Alik Keplicz

The independence of the Polish court in the case of the journalist MIA «Russia today» Leonid Sviridov raises questions, said his lawyer Yaroslav Helstowski.

On Friday, the Supreme administrative court of Poland has considered the legality of the deprivation of Sviridov long-term resident status of the European Union and its inclusion in the list of persons whose stay in the territory of the Schengen countries is not desirable.

In his speech, the lawyer said that Sviridov expelling from the country the Polish authorities had deprived him of the opportunity to defend himself. «No idea, what were the grounds for the decision. In the Polish legal system there are certain principles. The basic principle of the establishment of facts. There is also the possibility of appeal,» said the lawyer.

Helstowski also said that it is still not known, what exactly is accused of Sviridov. «So far we have no idea what exactly what actions constitute a threat according to the Provincial administrative court. It (he) conducted in Poland in the amount of more than 10 years and in that time nothing illegal was done. It is very difficult to understand why the national security Agency and the provincial administrative court decided that his presence is a danger,» said the lawyer.

He noted that the provincial administrative court, making a decision, explained that he is familiar with the arguments of the Polish secret services, but did not disclose them, not allowing the plaintiff to answer the charges. «Thus, we are dealing with information from only one side. Then the question arises about the independence of the court. the Defendant has no opportunity to cast doubt on the materials collected by the Agency of internal security,» he said, adding that Polish intelligence agencies, knowing that he will not see presented in court materials, «could be manipulated».

According to counsel, in the case of Sviridov we can talk about the violation by the Polish authorities of European Union law, since the question concerns the status of long-term resident of the EU.

Foreign Minister of Poland on 24 October 2014 cancelled journalistic accreditation Sviridov, who was working in Warsaw since 2003. After that, the Polish government began administrative forfeiture Sviridov’s residence permit of a long — term resident status EU. After its cancellation, to enforce the decision of an administrative authority, a journalist in the 30-day period left the country. He was forced to fly from Warsaw to Moscow on 12 December 2015 without a court order.

All the materials of the case of the Russian journalist kept secret, despite numerous requests by the defense to explain the reasons for the decision. Chief Administrative court of Poland refused to declassify documents in the case. In the folder window appears the only official document: a letter from the Director of the internal security Agency of Poland (ABW), which stated that «the continued presence of the specified citizen on the territory of Poland is valid and a serious threat to the security of the state», but says nothing about the reasons.

History Sviridov, fell several times in the monitoring report of the OSCE representative on freedom of the press on the violation of journalists ‘ rights in the organization. The OSCE has recorded in recent time the only case of violation of rights of journalist in Poland, and it is a violation not of the Polish citizen and Russian citizen. In September 2015, the Russian correspondent personally talked in Warsaw with OSCE representative on freedom of the press on this subject. In September of 2017 the members of the Russian delegation at the annual OSCE conference on human dimension in Warsaw reiterated the illegality of the expulsion of the journalist from Poland.

Earlier the Russian foreign Ministry has repeatedly said that the situation around Sviridov can be interpreted as an attempt to restrict free speech and violate the legal rights of journalists to carry out their professional activities.