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Poland’s volleyball heads arrested over corruption

November 15, 2014

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A prosecutor said Saturday that the head and the deputy head of the Polish Volleyball Federation have been put under temporary arrest on charges of corruption concerning the organization of the 2014 world championship which Poland won.

Spokesman for the Warsaw Prosecutor’s office, Przemyslaw Nowak said that, on a motion from the prosecutors, a Warsaw court has ordered a three months’ arrest for the two men, pending further investigation into the case involving public officials and a large amount of money.

The volleyball federation said in a statement earlier that in spite of the situation it was fully capable of performing its duties and was convening a board of managers meeting on Monday.

Earlier in the week, the state Central Anti-Corruption Office detained federation head Miroslaw Przedpelski, his deputy Artur Popko and the owner of a security firm based in southern Poland, identified only as Cezary P., on suspicion of corruption.

The prosecutors said they have charged Przedpelski, 63, a former volleyball player and federation head since 2004, and Popko with accepting bribes and charged the security firm owner with offering them bribes totaling some 980,000 zlotys (euros 245,000, $326,000) in exchange for them having hired the firm for the championships.

If convicted, all three could face up to 12 years in prison. It was not immediately known when the court trial could be held.

In September, amid great national support and joy, Poland won the world championship, which it hosted. It is to host the European Championship in 2017.

For a few months in 2012, following a tip from the prosecutors, the anti-corruption office investigated the federation’s financing and promotion campaign ahead of the championship, but the inquiry was discontinued.

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