BRUSSELS, April 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

Lawyers representing the Berlin based company K.u.K. Internationale Logistic, Handels und Beteiligungs Gmbh have initiated formal legal proceedings against Mr Kalecinski the District Prosecutor of Wroclaw and the local Tax office, suing for more than 10 billion euros in damages.

K.u.K.'s lawyers allege that Mr Kalecinski has failed to supply any legal warrants for the seizure of property owned by K.u.K., for the freezing of company bank accounts or seizure of company offices in Wroclaw following raids by the Prosecutor's office in November of last year. Prosecutor Kalecinski claims to have sent by letter details of the charges to K.u.K.'s lawyers, but so far nothing has been received despite requests to the Court requiring Mr Kalecinski to produce evidence of the documents being delivered by mail.

The Court has failed to instruct Prosecutor Kalecinski to produce these documents or evidence of delivering them to K.u.K.'s legal counsel. K.u.K.'s legal team have therefore set a deadline for Mr Kalecinski to provide full documentation justifying his actions by 16th April, and to return to the Company all corporate property and assets held by his office by that date.

In the meanwhile after more than 5 months, 6 innocent employees of K.u.K. are held on pre-trial bail without any formal charges having been filed. It appears that Prosecutor Kalecinski has alleged criminal misdemeanour on the part of these employees to the Court, whilst at the same time disputing the calculation of tax payments by K.u.K. due to the Polish Finance Ministry - which is an economic, and not a criminal matter. The German holding company has repeatedly offered to settle any tax payments outstanding from its Polish subsidiaries, but has still received no response to these offers from the Wroclaw tax authorities.

"This irresponsible, and unaccountable behaviour is something a company might have expected in the soviet era before Poland's democratic independence, but it is unacceptable in 21st century Poland," a K.u.K. spokesman said.

Apparently, this kind of treatment of companies in Poland is not isolated. In a recent book "The White Lake" written by John Borrell, the behaviour of Polish public prosecutors comes under scrutiny. The findings of his book suggest that there is significant room for reform in Poland. "Polish law allows for pre-trial detention of up to two years, longer in special circumstances and many public prosecutors use it as a means of extracting "confessions" or simply to punish people they lack evidence to prosecute in court. Bureaucrats, public prosecutors and judges are never held accountable for wrongly depriving people of their liberty. As a result more than 95% of requests by public prosecutors for pre-trial detention are approved by judges."

"This kind of behaviour is out of line with practice in the rest of Europe and it must change. Reform of these procedures is overdue, and we shall pursue change of policy at the highest level," the company spokesman for K.u.K. International said.

"K.u.K.'s lawyers will first exhaust due process through the Polish courts, and if necessary will apply to the courts in Germany for justice and remedies," he went on to say.

At stake is the continued operation of K.u.K. International's business in Poland, the employment of the company's staff, compensation of more than 10 billion euros and the principle of fair trial within a reasonable period of time for citizens who are held on suspicion of an offence, without any charges or evidence being submitted to the Court. This is a fundamental human right, which Poland is bound to respect under the terms of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights which Poland signed when it joined the EU 10 years ago.

This release is issued on behalf of K.u.K. International GmbH by Macmillan PR Limited.

 

SOURCE K.u.K. International GmbH

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/wroclaw-scandal-poses-legal-threat-to-tusk-governments-eu-credentials-and-financials-253864801.html

 

Published in Articles

BRUSSELS, December 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

The German-based business K.u.K International has expressed concern at the failure of the Polish authorities to reply to the firm's offer to begin payments of the claims by the Polish social insurance organisation, ZUS, that they are owed 62 million zlotys by the company's Polish subsidiary.

K.u.K International is one of Europe's most dynamic employment and out-sourcing firms which employs 7 000 people in Wroclaw and other Polish cities and helps more than 150 Polish firms with their human resources management.

A spokesman for K.u.K. International in Berlin, where the firm has its headquarters, said "We wrote to the Polish government on 21 November and made clear that K.u.K International is in full compliance with German tax law, and seeks to meet any obligations that its Polish subsidiary companies may have inadvertently incurred, and repay any monies legally owed to the Polish State. 

"The letter proposed to begin immediate discussions concerning claims for payment of 62 million zlotys. Under Polish law, the government is required to reply to any letter from a Polish citizen within 30 days and this deadline expired on 21 December.  

"We are puzzled at the apparent indifference of the Polish government to an offer to be paid 62 million zlotys and we hope that before Christmas someone somewhere in the Polish state apparatus contacts us so we can begin making arrangements for paying any outstanding monies," the K.u.K spokesperson added.

However, rather than respond to the offer of the German company, the Wroclaw authorities continue to detain in prison, without charge, innocent managers of the Polish subsidiaries - including women with dependent children - and to disrupt the salary payments of 7 000 workers and their families at the year end when they should normally be preparing to celebrate the New Year.

An international human rights expert has suggested that the Wroclaw authorities' actions may be in breach of Poland's obligations under the European Treaties to protect the fundamental rights of citizens.

For more information see http://www.kmetkostory.org    

Issued for K.u.K. International Limited by Macmillan PR

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/businessman-puzzled-at-polish-governments-lack-of-response-to-proposed-payment-of-62-million-zlotys-237014231.html

 

Published in Articles

European authorities are being asked to investigate an attack on a German company which operates in Poland.

Termination of the Kmetko case in Germany confirms a similar decision of Prosecutor’s office in Wroclaw which was notified to the company in a letter dated 31 May 2012, which also closed the investigation.

Lawyers representing the company have written to the European Commission saying that a raid by armed security forces on the K.u.K employment agency in the south west Polish city of Wroclaw was aimed at stopping fair competition by forcing the closure of the Berlin-based company.

Polish authorities have made accusations against the firm saying it was involved in money-laundering.

But a lengthy investigation by the Berlin State Prosecutor has stated the charges are unfounded.

Following a letter dated 28 October from the Berlin State Prosecutor exonerating K.u.K. from any charges, it appears that the reaction of Wroclaw police has been to attack the firm.

“Over 7,000 jobs in Poland are now in peril,” said a spokesman for K.u.K.

On Tuesday, one Polish MEP, who said he did not wish to be named, also condemned the action, telling this website, “This like something out of the Communist era or behaviour you would expect in Putin’s Russia but not Tusk’s Poland.”

Claiming that they were investigating alleged money-laundering operations by the Berlin registered company K.u.K. International, Polish authorities conducted a series of raids against the company on 5 November.

Armed special units smashed their way into property owned by K.u.K., seized company assets,including two German registered cars.

They also searched K.u.K offices in Warsaw, Szczecin, Olsztyn and Dębic. The police raid extended to searching private apartments and seizing private property. German citizens were amongst the persons arrested by the police.

The armed police arrested Polish citizens employed by the company and blocked the non-resident bank account of K.u.K. International - thereby threatening the payment of wages due to the company’s 7 000 employees.

Responding, management of K.u.K. International branded them as "without any justification in law."

“The state sponsored actions are wholly disproportionate and unjustified. They threaten legitimate business operations and the rights of innocent individuals. No European business can operate on a cross-border basis if the police act without respect for basic European values and laws,” said a K.u.K. International spokesman.

The raids come within seven days of the Berlin State Prosecutor concluding a thorough and comprehensive two and a half year investigation into the affairs of the company.

This was conducted at the request of the Polish government within the framework of the agreement on legal assistance between the two countries.

Polish businessman Zdzislaw Kmetko and his wife Halina as well as their German company K.u.K. -E.F.I. International Logistic + Händel GmbH did not commit money laundering or any concealment of assets, the Berlin State Prosecutor concluded following the two year long investigation.

In a letter addressed to Halina Kmetko as the owner of the K.u.K. and dated 28 October, 2013 the office of Berlin prosecutor notified the company that the investigation had been terminated due to lack of evidence of any violation.

Termination of the Kmetko case in Germany confirms a similar decision of Prosecutor’s office in Wroclaw which was notified to the company in a letter dated 31 May 2012, which also closed the investigation.

"The raids are without justification and directly contradict the written confirmation of the Public Prosecutor of Wroclaw from 31 May 2012 stating that no money laundering operations were undertaken by K.u.K. International," a company spokesman said.

“This policy of state harassment of the family business of Wroclaw entrepreneur Zdzislaw Kmetko follows a consistent trend going back to the communist era of the early 1990s, and suggests a deliberate strategy of targeted, selective and vindictive actions designed to destroy the legitimate family business of K.u.K. International and to break the spirit of its owners and its employees,” the K.u.K International spokesman went on to say.

“These illegal actions will be contested vigorously in the courts, and we shall apply for remedies to protect the legitimate business interests of K.u.K. International and to defend the rights of the individuals who have been subject to this wholly unwarranted, groundless and unjustified harassment,” the spokesman added.

"This attempt to shut down and destroy a legitimate Polish business providing jobs for 7000 people in Poland is a bad signal to send out at a time when the Polish economy is slowing down.

"We believe it is against the EU rules on the single market and against EU fundamental rights and we will be asking the relevant commissioners in Brussels to examine this police attack on a private company that pays its taxes in Germany, Switzerland, Poland where it operates and fully complies with the law in all three countries.

"Clearly it suits the company’s competitors to see the police raid and the attempt to shut down his business, but Poland must respect rule of law as an EU member state,” the company spokesman concluded.

A source at the European commission in Brussels said they would look into the matter as soon as they received the complaint.

http://www.europeanbusinessreview.eu/page.asp?pid=1122

 

Published in Articles