13:40 GMT +322 September 2019
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    3 Ministers, Speaker of Parliament Resign Over Polish Wiretapping Scandal

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    Three Polish ministers, three deputy ministers and the speaker of parliament submitted their resignations Wednesday in connection with the leak of investigative materials connected to a wiretapping scandal which has plagued Poland since last summer.

    Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz made the announcement of the officials' resignations. Most famous among them was Sejm Speaker Radoslaw Sikorski, a former foreign minister who was caught in the center of a wiretapping last year after a Polish news magazine published excerpts from taped conversations revealing shady dealings, political infighting, and guttural language about Poland's relations with its allies. Other officials to tender their resignations were the ministers of health, sports, and the treasury.

    On Tuesday, Polish media was awash in 2,500 pages of material in the investigation surrounding 'Waitergate', the eavesdropping scandal involving senior Polish officials which rocked the country last summer. Officials have already called it the largest leak in Polish history. The material, including witness testimony, personal information and case evidence, was published by social activist Zbigniew Stonoga, who claimed to have found it on Chinese internet sites. 

    In June 2014, Polish news magazine Wprost released tape recordings of private conversations taking place between senior Polish officials in restaurants across Warsaw over an 18 month period. The calls revealed the shady dealings, corruption and extravagance behind Polish politics and the primitive language used by the Polish political elite. Speaker Sikorski was recorded calling Poland's alliance with the US "bulls***," lamenting to a colleague that Poland would "get into a conflict with the Russians and the Germans, and we'll think that everything is super because we gave the Americans a ****job."

    The leak is now being investigated by the Warsaw district prosecutor's office, with those responsible liable to criminal prosecution. Stonoga was questioned by investigators, but has since been released. In response to the media tidal wave Tuesday, Prime Minister Kopacz called together representatives from the security services, and the ministries of defense, interior and justice for council.

    Commenting on the scandal exploding on Tuesday, Poland expert Ariadna Rokossovskaya wrote for Russia's Rossiyskaya Gazeta that the revelations could "bury the hopes of the ruling Civic Platform Party for retaining power" in this fall's upcoming parliamentary elections. 

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    Tags:
    resignation, tapes, recordings, wiretapping, eavesdropping, scandal, Polish Sejm, Radoslaw Sikorski, Ewa Kopacz, Warsaw, Poland
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