First witnesses face Poland's special restitution probe

AP News
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Posted: Jun 26, 2017 9:47 AM

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Polish commission investigating the irregular restitution of seized property to private owners is trying to determine the role of Warsaw mayor in the process as it questions its first witnesses.

The government commission on Monday questioned former town hall employees who were fired last year amid the restitution scandal. In many cases the property that was seized by the state after World War II was handed over to persons unrelated to the original owners.

Warsaw Mayor Hanna Gronkiewicz-Waltz refuses to face the panel and says she has asked a court to rule on its legality.

The commission was formed in reaction to public outrage over some of the wrong returns and it can send cases to court to be reversed. The property was seized by a 1945 communist decree.