Tomasz Komenda acquitted by the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court acquitted Tomasz Komenda on Wednesday. In 2004, the man has been effectively convicted for murder and rape of a 15-year-old girl. Mr Komenda had spent 18 years in prison. His tragic ordeal is now over. He may expect a record-breaking compensation from the Polish state. The Prosecutor General, Zbigniew Ziobro said that "the decision to acquit Mr Komenda shows that the mistakes of the judiciary can be corrected. Although, nothing will bring back the lost years to him or compensate the suffering, in this moment, he regained his dignity and saw a glimmer of hope for the future.
The motion to reopen the inquiry regarding Mr Komenda was submitted by the prosecutor’s office which arrived at the conclusion that he is innocent. On Wednesday before noon, at a closed session the Supreme Court approved of the motion.
According to the Criminal Code, if a decision to reopen the investigation is made, then "the court overrules the verdict in question and passes the case over to the appropriate court for further review". However, the Criminal Code states at the same time that "by overruling the verdict in question, the court may either acquit the accused with a new ruling, as long as the new facts or evidence prove that the original ruling was wrong, or to close the case."
Attorney Zbigniew Ćwiąkalski said after the hearing that both him and the prosecutor motioned for acquittal.
Tomasz Komenda had been effectively convicted for the murder that was committed on 31 December 1996. He was serving his 25-year sentence in Strzelin Penitentiary Facility. In March, the penitentiary court in Wrocław suspended his sentence and released him after 18 years behind bars. According to the prosecutor’s office that has collected new evidence in his case, Tomasz Komenda did not commit the crime for which he was punished.
The appeal to yet again reopen the case of Tomasz Komenda was lodged in 2017 by the parents of the victim, Małgorzata K. Soon after the investigation was reopened and the prosecutor’s office informed about detaining Ireneusz M. in connection to the murder. He was charged with rape with extreme cruelty and murder of 15-year-old Małgorzata K. Since then, Ireneusz M. remains in custody.
The investigation regarding the alleged misfeasance and negligence by public officers who carried out the inquiry into the rape and murder of Małgorzata K. will in turn be conducted by the Regional Prosecutor’s Office in Łódź.