Thursday, January 12, 2012

Polish military prosecutor who attempted suicide had ?200,000 bounty on his head

He had requested the pistol used in the suicide bid for personal protection owing to fears that his life was in danger.

The soldier was rushed to hospital but made good progress following an operation for facial injuries, and medical officials said Tuesday that he should be fit enough to leave in a couple of days.

The colonel 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."

During his hospital interview the colonel also claimed that his corruption investigation had prompted authorities to speed up their attempts to reorganise his department and place it under civilian control.

Col Przybyl has not elaborated on the specifics of the investigation but during Monday's press conference he said "at risk are not only hundreds of millions of zloty from the state budget but also the life and health of the Polish soldier, who often receives defective or malfunctioning equipment."

Adding to Col Przybyl's woes have been allegations that his department made illegal attempts to tap and hack into phones owned by journalists reporting on the leak of classified information relating to the 2010 Smolensk air disaster that claimed the lives of Lech Kaczynski, the Polish president, and dozens of the country's political and military elite.

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

Confronted with these allegations he said he also wanted to take his own life "to protect the honour of the office".

Asked by a reporter how he felt, Col Przybyl replied: "As if I had been shoot".


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