Poland drops probe into central bank chief's leaked conversation

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 16, 2014 7:32 AM

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish prosecutors said on Tuesday they had dropped an investigation into whether central bank governor Marek Belka broke the law in a conversation with the interior minister that was secretly recorded and leaked.

In the recordings, published in June, Belka discusses with Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz the removal of the finance minister and ways the central bank could use its monetary tools to help the government avoid election defeat.

The district prosecutor's office in Warsaw launched an investigation in August to establish if Belka and Sienkiewicz had exceeded their authority. The central bank is supposed to be independent of the government.

In a statement, the prosecutors said the evidence they had gathered - including from interviews with Belka and Sienkiewicz - did not show any crime had been committed.

Both Belka and Sienkiewicz have denied breaking the law, saying their conversation about the bank helping the government was purely hypothetical.

After the recording was published by the Wprost weekly, opposition parties demanded the government resign over the affair but the row has since subsided.

(Reporting by Marcin Goettig; Editing by Catherine Evans)