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Polish minister resigns over unreported assets

November 15, 2013

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland’s prime minister Donald Tusk on Friday accepted the resignation of his transport minister after an investigation by prosecutors found he did not report an expensive wristwatch.

Minister Slawomir Nowak resigned after prosecutors asked that his immunity be waived to allow investigators to question him. Tusk said he would gladly take him back if the investigation ultimately finds in his favor.

The probe casts a new shadow on Tusk’s Civic Platform party, which has been under fire for allegedly shady dealings. The party is seeking to improve its image ahead of 2015 elections.

Prosecutors opened a probe in May into allegations that Nowak did not include his wristwatch in his report of valuable assets. Investigators said the wristwatch is worth over 10,000 zlotys (2,500 euros), while Polish media has reported it is worth 17,000 zlotys.

Asset reports are required of all top-level state and local administration officials and are meant to combat corruption.

Nowak’s deputy, Zbigniew Rynasiewicz, is to be acting transport minister.

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