Conflict & Justice

Polish prosecutor Mikolaj Przybyl shoots himself in head on camera


Polish TV cameras filmed Mikolaj Przybyl giving a statement in his office just moments before he shot himself in the head.


Colonel Mikolaj Przybyl, a military prosecutor involved in the investigation into the 2010 plane crash that killed the Polish president and other officials, shot himself in the head just minutes after giving a press conference this morning.

He was wounded but not killed, and is currently in stable condition in hospital, the Krakow Post reported.

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The apparent suicide attempt was caught on camera by Polish news channel TVN24, which shortly before had been filming a press conference in Przybyl's office in Poznan, western Poland. He can be seen ushering journalists out of the room and closing the door. Seconds later, he heads out of shot and the sound of a gun being cocked, followed by a shot and a thud, are heard.

According to the Telegraph, Przybyl had asked reporters for a "five-minute break," saying he needed to rest.

He had just been briefing them on allegations that prosecutors tried to obtain access to journalists' cell phones after details of the plane crash investigation were leaked to the media. Przybyl defended his department from accusations of illegality, saying:

"During my entire service as a civilian and later military prosecutor, I have never brought shame to the Republic of Poland and I will protect the honor of an officer of the Polish armed forces and prosecution."

He also stated his objection to possible reforms that would put military prosecutors under civilian authority, according to the Associated Press.

Poland's President Bronislaw Komorowski said the incident was "disturbing" and asked senior security, justice and officials to monitor the situation, Agence France Presse reported.

Some MPs are calling for a special parliamentary investigation into Przybyl's suicide attempt, the AP said, arguing that it indicates "a massive corruption problem in the army."

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