Spin doctor sentenced to jail term

Photo: Piotr Tymochowicz after hearing the court verdict. PAP/Jacek Turczyk

Piotr Tymochowicz the spin doctor for Andrzej Lepper, former Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Self-Defence (Samoobrona) movement, has been convicted for possession of paedophile pornography. He was sentenced to three years in prison. The verdict is not final and legally binding - Mr Tymochowicz announced that he will appeal against it.

Mr Tymochowicz has a CV dripping with the names of the senior politicians he worked for. Apart from Mr Lepper he has also worked for, or with, Janusz Palikot, the former leader of a left-wing libertarian movement and for former Solidarity trades union leader Marian Krzaklewski. He has also worked for the Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) and for Stanisław Tymniński an independent candidate who came a surprise second to Lech Wałęsa in the Presidential election of 1990.

The spin doctor will, however, not be able to add his presence on the government introduced register of paedophiles to his CV. His offences of possession of paedophile pornography do not qualify, as the register contains only the names of those who have committed paedophile offences in person. Those prison inmates who may have contact with Mr Tymochowicz during his prison term may not be fully versed in the intricacies of legislation on paedophile offences.

Investigators found that Mr Tymochowicz was in possession of USB devices containing photos and films of a paedophile nature.The action was a part of an international police action against paedophilia (RINA). The prosecution had asked the court to sentence the spin doctor for 4.5 years and for him to await the final sentence in jail.

The court however decided that if Mr Tymochowicz pays bail, amounting to approximately 25,000 Euro, he will be allowed to go home and face police supervision once a week, have his passport taken and be forbidden to leave the country.

Mr Tymochowicz argues that he is innocent and that he will probably be appealing against the verdict. He can take his case to the Appeals court and if he is unsuccessful he can then appeal to the Supreme Court to have his sentence quashed.

The spin doctor, commenting on the court proceedings, said that he felt that he was in “North Korea”. He denied having any interest in child pornography.

In recent years Mr Tymochowicz has spent considerable time in Cambodia where he married a very young woman. There were allegations that she was only 15, but they have not been substantiated. He had previously been married to a Ukrainian who, during the course of the marriage, had a child with another man. The spin doctor actually adopted the child, against the wishes of the biological father, but the marriage eventually ended.