Following the recent ignominious end of a local government official’s career in the People’s Republic of China, the consequence of his less than discreet public displays of love for luxury watches, here is another politician whose penchant for expensive timepieces has landed him in public hot water.
Poland’s transport minister Slawomir Nowak, a close ally of Prime Minister Donald Tusk and touted as a future Prime Minister, has resigned after prosecutors said he may have broken the law by failing to declare his ownership of a $6,600 wristwatch.
The resignation came about after Polish media reported on Novak’s fondness for expensive watches, such as Hublot and Ulysse Nardin. Nowak denied any wrongdoing and said that the watches were on loan or gifts from family members.
However, the prosecutor’s office wrote to the Polish Parliament, stating that there was “justified suspicion” that Nowak had broken the law by failing to disclose ownership of the watch. Asset reports are required of all top-level state and local administration officials and are meant to combat corruption. They are required by to disclose all possessions with a value above 10,000 zlotys (approx US$3,300).
“In the course of the investigation it has been determined that Slawomir Nowak has owned a watch purchased for the amount of 20,500 zlotys (US$6,600),” the district prosecutor’s office said in a statement. Unfortunately, I cannot find any English language references online as to the identity of this particular watch.
As an MP, he has immunity from prosecution. Prosecutors can only take him to court if the Parliament votes to strip him of his immunity.
The Prime Minister has said that he said he would welcome Nowak back if an investigation clears him of any wrong-doing.