Jailed Polish ex-ministers released after being pardoned again

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Poland’s former Interior Minister Mariusz Kaminski and his deputy Maciej Wasik were released from prison on Tuesday night, after being pardoned by President Andrzej Duda for the second time.

Earlier in the day, Duda announced the decision to pardon the two politicians convicted of abuse of power and ordered their immediate release.

In March 2015, Kaminski and Wasik were sentenced to three years in prison for orchestrating a sting operation while heading the Central Anti-Corruption Bureau in 2007. But in November 2015, after the Law and Justice (PiS) party came to power, Duda, a PiS ally, pardoned them both, allowing Kaminski to become interior minister.

After being sentenced to two years in prison last December, they were both taken into custody in early January, and have since been on hunger strikes.

Duda has insisted that his pardon in 2015 was valid, while some legal experts have argued that it was ineffective as it had been granted before the verdict was reached.

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