Sunday 18 March 2018

'Death threats' led to suicide attempt

Matthew Day in Warsaw

A Polish military prosecutor who tried to commit suicide during a press conference claimed yesterday that he was a marked man with a €240,000 price on his head stemming from an investigation into corruption.

A day after he shot himself in the head only to survive, the lawyer Colonel Mikolaj Przybyl said he received death threats and suffered intimidation.

The officer claimed that his flat had been broken into, the tyres on his car tampered with in an apparent attempt to kill him and that his dog had been killed as part of the campaign.

He said his suicide attempt had been "influenced" by his investigation into corruption. "My act was influenced by the cases I am investigating: one of them is the most serious involving financial issues in the Polish military," he said.

"I could accept the fact that my car had been damaged, a tyre loosened in an attempt to kill me and that my dog had been killed. I also knew about the bounty on my head but I couldn't accept that I had been accused of an illegal action."

Col Przybyl had tried to commit suicide after interrupting a press conference in the western city of Poznan to "air the room". After journalists had left his office he put a pistol in his mouth and pulled the trigger. A television camera left rolling recorded the sound of the gun being cocked, a shot and that of a body hitting the floor.

The officer attributed his survival to a technician trying to adjust television cables.

"I wanted to commit suicide," he explained. "I put the pistol in my mouth but my hand shook when I saw the door handle move. A man who wanted to shift the cables saved me, the bullet hit my cheek and didn't go through my head."

He said he was carrying the pistol for personal protection. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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