Zyta or “Beata”: The Convoluted Case of Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister

Zyta or “Beata”: The Convoluted Case of Poland’s Deputy Prime Minister

On June 23, 2006, Polish Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz fired his deputy and the minister of finances Zyta Gilowska after she had been formally charged with perjury. Gilowska allegedly had lied about being an agent of the Communist secret police (Sluzba Bezpieczenstwa, SB) before 1989. Her codename was "Beata." Gilowska vehemently denied all charges.

The ensuing vetting trial of the politician and the accompanying public debate laid bare serious flaws in Poland's judicial and legislative process. They also exposed the impact of the nation's totalitarian past on its democratic present.

The Firing

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