A popular screenwriter in Poland is facing a criminal prosecution and a potential three-year prison term for calling the country’s president Andrzej Duda a “moron” on Facebook.
Jakub Żulczyk revealed the indictment on Facebook. “The District Attorney's Office Warsaw Downtown North has directed an indictment against me from Article 135 of the Penal Code, i.e. an insult to the Head of State,” he wrote. “I am, I suspect, the first writer in a very long time to stand trial for what he wrote.”
The post in question was sent on the 7th of November last year, in response to President Duda’s statement which sort-of-kind-of-maybe acknowledged Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election.
“Congratulations to @JoeBiden for a successful presidential campaign,” Duda wrote four days after the election. The right-wing Duda, who considered Donald Trump an ally, then seemingly attempted to hedge his bets by adding that Poland was still awaiting “the nomination by the Electoral College.”
Żulczyk responded to President Duda’s fence-sitting on Facebook, writing: “I've never heard there's such a thing as ‘Electoral College nomination’. Biden won the election. Everything that follows from today…is pure formality.”
He then signed off his post with: “Andrzej Duda is a moron.”
A spokesperson for the Polish government has confirmed that Żulczyk has been indicted for “committing an act of public insult...by using a term commonly recognised as insulting.”
Żulczyk says he will formally respond to the charges in court.