European Arrest Warrant issued for Stalinist military judge

The Regional Military Court in Warsaw issued a European Arrest Warrant for Stefan Michnik, a former Stalinist military judge in post-war Poland, the statement on the Institute of National Remembrance's (IPN) website announced.

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The warrant was issued at the request of the prosecutor of the Departmental Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation in Warsaw.

Stefan Michnik is suspected of 93 crimes classified as communist crimes, for example, issuing unlawful death penalty sentences, long-term imprisonment and issuing temporary detentions to people involved in the fight for the independent Polish State during WWII. According to the prosecutor, his aforementioned deeds, allegedly committed in 1952 and 1953, bear the hallmarks of crimes against humanity.

According to the announcement, the European arrest warrant for Stefan Michnik is to be handed over to the Swedish authorities. It may form the basis for surrendering the suspect to the Polish state.

Born in 1929, Stefan Michnik emigrated to Sweden in 1969, after the March 1968 events in Poland. He has been living in Sweden ever since. According to the IPN, he still has Polish citizenship. Since 2008, he has avoided contact with representatives of the Polish justice system and the Polish diplomatic mission.

In 2010, a European Arrest Warrant for Stefan Michnik was issued for the first time. At the time, the Swedish court refused to extradite Stefan Michnik back to Poland, explaining that his alleged criminal acts, committed in Poland, fall outside the statute of limitations in Sweden. Eight years later, the warrant was issued again, in connection with 30 charges reportedly committed over the years 1952-1953.

Stefan Michnik is a half-brother of Adam Michnik, the anti-communist activist and editor-in-chief of the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza.