BRUSSELS (AFP) – Poland should treat EU president Donald Tusk in a dignified manner, the European Commission said yesterday, after the former Polish premier was grilled for eight hours in Warsaw in an intelligence probe.
Commission head Jean-Claude “Juncker has full confidence in president Tusk with whom he has been working for many years,” Juncker’s spokeswoman Mina Andreeva told reporters.
“President Juncker wishes that president Tusk is treated with dignity,” Andreeva said when asked about Wednesday’s closed-door hearing in Warsaw.
Tusk was being questioned in an investigation of two former military counter-intelligence chiefs accused of overstepping their duties.
But Tusk said in Warsaw the probe was “extremely politically motivated”, referring to his bitter feud with Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the powerful leader of the conservative governing Law and Justice (PiS) party.
Tusk warned he would invoke his EU immunity if he believed the investigation was being deliberately used to interfere with his EU role.
In March, the Polish Government found itself isolated after it tried but failed to block Tusk’s re-appointment as president of the European Council, which groups the leaders of the 28 member states.
The Polish case centres on Generals Janusz Nosek and Piotr Pytel, who are suspected of having “overstepped their duties by collaborating with services of a foreign state” without authorisation.
Reports say it concerns an agreement struck with Russian intelligence shortly after a 2010 plane crash in Russia which killed Polish president Lech Kaczynski, Jaroslaw’s twin brother, and scores of senior Polish officials.
Tusk was prime minister at the time.