Security head detained after Polish mayor stabbing

Warsaw (AFP) –


The head of security at the public charity event where a Polish mayor was fatally stabbed has been detained for providing false statements regarding the attack, prosecutors said Monday.

The man had falsely claimed that the attacker had used a press badge to gain access to the stage where late Gdansk mayor Pawel Adamowicz had been speaking on January 13.

"Dariusz S gave police a press badge to cover up shortcomings in the event's security," said Grazyna Wawryniuk, a spokeswoman for the Gdansk prosecutor's office.

But according to investigators, attacker Stefan W "was not wearing that kind of badge at the time of his act."

She added that Dariusz S was also suspected of having pressured one of his subordinates to make false statements. He faces up to eight years in prison if found guilty.

On Monday, Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski revoked the licence of the Tajfun company which had been tasked with overseeing security at the charity event.

Brudzinski has also ordered a review of the Gdansk police force, after information came to light suggesting officers had failed to act on tip-offs that Stefan W was dangerous.

The 27-year-old, who faces up to life in prison if found guilty of Adamowicz's murder, was released from prison in December after serving more than five years for a series of bank robberies.

A childhood friend who served two years in prison for helping commit the robberies had alerted police as recently as earlier this month that he had received death threats from Stefan W, according to the tabloid Super Express.

Stefan W's mother had also warned police before his release that her son was dangerous and intended to commit a spectacular act as revenge for his incarceration.

"I ask you to forgive my son," she said in an emotional interview with the Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

On Saturday, tens of thousands of people gathered in Gdansk for the funeral of Adamowicz, who had been the Baltic port city's mayor for 20 years.