• MPs suicide remains a mystery
  • 18.05.2009

An investigation in former minister Barbara Blida’s case could have been launched illegally. Two years after former minister Barbara Blida shot herself dead, there are still more questions than answers as to why she took her own life.


In the morning of April 25, 2007 a group of Internal Security Agency officers entered Barbara Blida’s house with an order to arrest her. During questioning, Blida  - a former minister of construction in the left wing Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) government  - asked for a break so she could go to the toilet. A few seconds later the officers heard a single shot. Blida had killed herself with a gun hidden in a bathroom cabinet, while her house was full of law enforcement officers.


Barbara Blida was a well known left wing politician. Since the age of twenty she was a Communistic Party member. For many years she worked as an engineer. She entered politics in 1989 and became an MP for the post-communist SLD.


Her career took off and she became Minister for Construction and Spatial Management. In 2005 she left politics and went back to business. Accusations followed that she became involved scam involving making bribes to contacts in the coal industry.


The security services were alerted and an arrest warrant was issued, based on accusations made by a Silesian woman, Barbara Kmiecik.


Kmiecik claimed that Blida was connected to the so-called ‘coal mafia’ – an large scale organized crime group.


Other accusations involve the possibly illegal financing of former president Aleksander Kwasniewski's electoral campaign.


Smoking gun?


The manner of Blida’s death has raised other questions. A female office from the security services was assigned to watch Blida at all times as officers searched her house.. Where was she when Blida reached for her gun? A film recording the questioning and search of her home stops after just 10 seconds and shows only the moment officers entered Blida's house.


Some allege that the evidence against Blida was weak and that her arrest was clearly political.


Critics say that the justice minister under the then Law and Justice administration, the young and ambitious Zbigniew Ziobro, many times used public prosecutors politically. Blida’s party colleagues say she committed suicide because she did not want to become another victim of Ziobro’s political maneuvering.


In the autumn of 2007, a group of SLD MPs demanded a special investigative parliamentary committee be set up to look into Blida’s case. After a year and a half, however, the committee has failed to uncover anything significant and has raised even more concerns.


Recently, a public prosecutor announced that “probably a document launching the investigation was forged.” Yesterday, his colleague from public prosecutor’s office admitted that he signed the document on his behalf. That is considered common practice, however, both public prosecutors have to know the content of the document. It seems, that in this case it was different, but none of those public prosecutors wanted to talk with media. Today, they will be questioned in the Warsaw’s Public Prosecutor’s Office. That could turn out to be a crucial interrogation.


The only person to be accused of any illegality is Grzegorz S., an officer leading the raid on Blida’s house. The public prosecutor’s office alleged that he made some serious procedural mistakes and that he should have checked if there were any weapons in Blida’s house right at the start of the action.


But can he be the only person guilty of crimes connected with her death? All political parties claim that more people should appear before the court. But, of course, they point out completely different people from completely different parties. (jg/pg)