Journalist Faces Up To 3 Years In Prison If Convicted For Calling Polish President A ‘Moron’


journalist-faces-up-to-3-years-in-prison-if-convicted-for-calling-polish-president-a-‘moron’

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Varun Hukeri

General Assignment & Analysis Reporter

Polish writer and journalist Jakub Zulczyk could face up to three years in prison for calling Polish President Andrzej Duda a “moron” on social media.

Zulczyk made the comment on Facebook last November in response to a tweet from Duda congratulating President Joe Biden on his election victory, BBC News first reported Tuesday. Zulczyk criticized Duda for not fully acknowledging Biden’s victory, as the Polish president’s remarks suggested he was still waiting for the outcome of the electoral college vote.

Zulczyk wrote in a Facebook post Nov. 7 that the electoral college vote was a “formality” and Duda did not understand American politics. “Joe Biden is the 46th president of the U.S. Andrzej Duda is a moron,” the post concluded.

In a separate Facebook post Monday, Zulczyk said he had discovered through a news report that he had been charged with insulting the head of state.

“I just saw that the District Attorney’s Office Warsaw Downtown North has directed an indictment against me from Article 135 of the Penal Code, i.e. an insult to the Head of State,” he wrote. “It’s about a Facebook post about the U.S. election, in which I wrote this and quote: ‘Andrzej Duda is a moron.’”

Prosecutors said Zulczyk’s social media comments about the Polish president were “offensive” and “unacceptable,” according to BBC News. Zulczyk faces up to three years of prison if convicted, though he has not said whether he intends to plead guilty.

A 2017 report by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe found that Poland had the largest number of insult and defamation laws among European countries. The nation has nine different insult laws, including those covering state symbols and leaders, and all include potential prison terms. (RELATED: Poland’s Justice Minister Introduces Bill To Hold Social Media Companies Accountable For Censorship)

Zulczyk previous social media posts have been critical of the Polish government. Duda was elected president in 2015 and is a member of the right-wing Law and Justice Party. He has been considered a close ally of former President Donald Trump.

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