WARSAW, June 21 Poland's prosecutor general said
he was prepared to step down after law enforcement officers
raided a magazine trying to seize leaked tapes that embarrassed
senior officials, but felt that was not the right course of
Prosecutors, internal security agency officers and police
raided the offices of the Wprost news magazine on Wednesday,
after the magazine published tapes of private conversations
between senior officials, which have triggered a political
The raid caused an uproar in the media and among opposition
politicians, who said freedom of speech was at stake in Poland.
"I have many times heard the callings on me to step down,"
prosecutor general Andrzej Seremet said at a news conference
late on Friday. "If my dismissal would contribute to calming the
situation, I'm ready to do it. But I don't think this is the
Prime Minister Donald Tusk is facing opposition calls to
fire ministers following publication of the tapes, and has
hinted he may be forced to call a snap election.
The tapes included a discussion between central bank chief
Marek Belka and Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz in
which the two men talked about how the central bank might help
the government avoid election defeat, and ways to put pressure
on a businessman.
Both men have said their words were taken out of context and
they did not break the law. They say the ideas they were
discussing never materialised.
Justice Minister Marek Biernacki said on Thursday that the
prosecutors' actions could be considered "too far-reaching" and
that the situation "should have never taken place."
Seremet on Friday defended the raid, saying "prosecutors
went there (to Wprost offices) to execute the law," but he
acknowledged that the fallout from the tapes had caused a row
between his office and the Justice Ministry.
(Reporting by Adrian Krajewski; Editing by Susan Fenton)