Polish prosecutor indicts former head of financial regulator

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland’s state prosecutor has indicted the former head of the country’s financial regulator on corruption charges, in one of the most prominent cases of alleged corruption in the European Union member state in recent years.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor said on Thursday the indictment of Marek Chrzanowski was sent to a court on Dec. 31.

Chrzanowski, who was appointed by the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party to run the regulator, was charged in 2018 with corruption, leading to a drop in shares of Polish banks and to criticism of PiS.

PiS has long campaigned on a promise to root out corruption in what it describes as self-interested liberal elites.

The indictment was first reported by Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza. There is no requirement in Poland to inform the public when indictments are filed.

Leszek Czarnecki, the owner of mid-sized Polish lender Getin Noble Bank and Getin Holding, had accused Chrzanowski of demanding payments of millions of dollars to a lawyer for “support”, prompting an official investigation.

Chrzanowski has denied the allegations.

A spokesman for the financial regulator and a spokesman for Getin Holding declined to comment.

The office of Chrzanowski’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko, Marcin Goclowski and Anna Koper, Writing by Joanna Plucinska; Editing by Mark Potter