Poland: Drones lobbyists wanted me out, says former Deputy Minister

Former Deputy Defence Minister General Waldemar Skrzypczak has said he alienated lobbyists through backing an Israeli company in a drones tender.
In an interview with the TVP public television station, he insisted that he had “voluntarily” left his post on 28 November.

“Many people had hoped that I would step down,” Skrzypczak said.

“I upset a lot of people, above all lobbyists operating on the Polish market,” he added.

In November, Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza had revealed details of a letter written by Skrzypczak, in which he indicated that the Ministry of Defence wanted to cooperate with Israeli company Elbit systems in a tender for drones.

However, Skrzypczak was not authorised to reveal which company the ministry was planning to choose.

The ministry initially supported Skrzypczak, who has argued that other potential partners charged extortionately.

Skrzypczak said lobbyists operating on the Polish market “were hoping that contracts made by the Polish army would be implemented by them.”

He added that they took “huge commissions,” stating that the deals would have been “ much higher than the market price.”

Alleged conflict with General Janusz Nosek, the head of Poland’s Military (SKW), was followed by the dismissal of Nosek from his post by Prime Minister Donald Tusk on 8 October, although the SKW successfully blocked Skrzypczak from access to confidential documents, as a result of his alleged mishandling of tenders.

Yesterday, Skrzypczak denied he had been in conflict with General Nosek. (nh)


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