Wednesday, 21 August, 2019


Polish mayor stabbed while on stage during a charity event

Gdansk's Mayor Pawel Adamowicz speaks during the 27th Grand Finale of the Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity in Gdansk Poland Gdansk’s Mayor Pawel Adamowicz was stabbed on stage at a charity event
Bennie Garza | 14 January, 2019, 17:12

Mr Adamowicz has been mayor of Gdansk, a port city on the Baltic coast, since 1998. A rally against violence has also been planned.

One of the surgeons, Dr Tomasz Stefaniak, said earlier that Mr Adamowicz was in "very, very serious condition" after he suffered a "serious wound to the heart, a wound to the diaphragm and to the internal organs".

Video footage showed the assailant bursting onto the podium and launching himself at Pawel Adamowicz, who had been waving sparklers on stage along with others at the fundraiser on Sunday evening.

A man is held on the ground by security personnel after he attacked the mayor of Gdansk during a charity event in Gdansk, Poland on January 13, 2019.

Adamowicz later underwent surgery, deputy mayor Piotry Grzelak was quoted as saying by the PAP news agency. On Sunday night, Gdańsk's regional centre for blood donation and blood medicine made an appeal on social media for blood donations from group 0 RhD negative.

The attacker, who has previous criminal record, has been arrested.

The attacker reportedly shouted from the stage that he had been wrongly imprisoned when the mayor's former party was in power.

Beata Mazurek of the Law and Justice party said Monday that the attack on Adamowicz should be "absolutely condemned by all, regardless of what side of the political stage they are on, or whether they are politicians".

One eyewitness told broadcaster TVN that the man appeared "happy with what he had done".

The man shouted out the attack was an act of revenge against a political party Mr Adamowicz had belonged to.

Since winning office in 2015, the PiS has systematically blamed PO politicians for an array of issues, ranging from Value-Added Tax fraud to the 2010 crash of a Polish presidential jet in Russian Federation that claimed the life of then president Lech Kaczynski, the identical twin brother of PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

Pawel Adamowicz was attacked on stage at the country's biggest charity event, which was raising money for children's hospitals. More than five hours after the attack there were no updates on his condition.

Deputy Chief Prosecutor Krzysztof Sierak said Monday five prosecutors have so far questioned 20 witnesses and are preparing to question the 27-year-old suspect. "Now we have to establish how was it obtained, was the accreditation in his name and was he really entitled to be there at that time?"

This type of attack is rare in Poland.

European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted: "Let's all pray for Mayor Adamowicz".

The Twitter account for the City of Gdansk also announced the death.

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