Polish prosecutors drop Kaczynski 'potato' libel case
( AFP ) - Polish prosecutors have dropped a libel investigation against a German newspaper that likened President Lech Kaczynski to a potato, a spokeswoman confirmed Friday.
Katarzyna Szeska from Warsaw regional prosecutor's office, told AFP that the case had been closed last week due to "lack of evidence."
The left-wing Berlin-based Tageszeitung daily stirred controversy in June 2006 with a satirical article dubbing Poland's twin leaders, President Lech Kaczynski and then Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski as " Poland's new potatoes."
The article was part of a series entitled, "the villains who rule the world."
The Kaczynskis' conservative Law and Justice party, which was then at the helm of the Polish government, was swift to launch a formal complaint with justice officials.
The party claimed the newspaper was guilty of libel against Poland's head of state, which is a criminal offence under Polish law carrying up to three years behind bars.
Prosecutors opened an investigation in July 2006.
Warsaw also demanded a public condemnation of the article by the German government. Berlin flatly refused, saying only that the text reflected "the opinion of its authors."
Several days later, the Polish president cancelled plans to attend a trilateral Polish-German-French summit in Germany.
Kaczynski's chancellery cited medical reasons, but the Polish press speculated the president was suffering from a "diplomatic illness."
Kaczynski called the Tageszeitung a "rag" and said no previous article attacking a politician had "ever come 10 percent close" to that about him and his twin.
The Tageszeitung poked particular fun at the fact that the unmarried Jaroslaw Kaczynski still lived with his mother at the age of 57.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski lost power after Law and Justice suffered a stinging defeat in a snap election in October at the hands of the liberal Civic Platform, whose leader Donald Tusk became prime minister last month.
Lech Kaczynski is still in office and his five-year presidential term runs until the end of 2010.