Arrest Warrant Issued for Defected Polish Judge

As this publication reported on May 7th, 2024, Polish Judge Tomasz Szmydt of the Warsaw Voivodeship Administrative Court and the former head of the legal department of the National Council of Judges, gave a surprise press conference in Minsk, Belarus where he announced he was seeking asylum.

Warsaw, Poland District Court issues European Arrest Warrant for former judge Tomasz Szmydt in Minsk, May 6th, 2024.

By 1200 EST on May 7th, 2024, the Polish Internal Security Agency announced that it had opened an investigation into Judge Szmydt to determine the scope of classified information that he had access to.

That investigation has now led to a formal arrest warrant against Judge Szmydt under charges of espionage.

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry has not confirmed if the disgraced judge will be accepted on asylum terms. However, considering the deteriorated bi-lateral relations due to Belarus and Russia’s complex hybrid warfare campaign on the Polish border, backdropped with the war in Ukraine, it is unlikely Minsk will return the judge, at least not until a full debrief.