On Friday, former marshal of the Podkarpackie Province Mirosław Karapyta was sentenced by the District Court in Przemyśl, southeastern Poland, for four years of imprisonment.
Mr Karapyta was accused, among other things, of rape and corruption. The verdict is not legally binding. After leaving the courtroom, Karapyta told reporters that he would appeal against the verdict since he is convinced of his innocence.
The trial of the former marshal began in April 2018 and took place in camera due to the important private interest of the injured women and the accused, who agreed to provide personal data and display his image.
During the period covered by the indictment, Mr Karapyta was the governor of Podkarpackie province, and later, its marshal. He was nominated for these positions by the Polish People's Party (PSL), of which he was a member at the time. He resigned from membership in PSL after hearing charges from the prosecutor.
One of the allegations concerns the rape and sexual harassment of one of his employees. This was alleged to have happened in the years 1999-2001.
During the investigation, Mr Karapyta pleaded not guilty. He made trial statements in the prosecutor's office in which he offered his explanations. The maximum penalty he may face is 12 years’ imprisonment.