Kaczynski Blames Prime Minister's `Hate Campaign' For Polish Party Killing

Polish opposition leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said a “campaign of hate” by people including Prime Minister Donald Tusk led to the shooting death of a party employee today.

Marek Rosiak, 62, was shot dead at the Law & Justice party’s office in Lodz, Poland, and Pawel Kowalski, 39, was wounded, Kaczynski and police spokespeople said. A 62-year-old man has been detained as a suspect, Magdalena Zielinska, a law enforcement spokeswoman in the central Polish city, said at a news conference carried live on the TVN24 television station.

“What happened is a result of the great campaign of hate that is being waged against Law & Justice,” Kaczynski said at a separate news conference carried live on TVN24. “It’s difficult to say when exactly it started, but Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s comments about ‘mohair berets’” as clothing associated with Law and Justice supporters “were certainly the beginning.”

Law and Justice, founded by Kaczynski and his identical twin brother, former Polish President Lech Kaczynski, had 23 percent support in an Oct. 7-13 poll by the Center for Public Research.

That’s the same rating as in September, which was the lowest since March, a month before Lech was killed in a plane crash. Tusk’s Civic Platform had 39 percent in the October poll.

Kaczynski cited other alleged instances of a hate campaign, including confrontations with mourners who held a vigil in his brother’s memory at the presidential palace.

Profanation, Beatings

“As the police looked on, the cross was profaned, people were beaten, and Prime Minister Tusk was delighted,” he said.

Tusk called for an end to the “atmosphere of antagonism.”

“I’d like to ask of all participants in public life, without exception, that political emotions take second place to serious reflection and to determination that this kind of situation won’t recur,” he said at a news conference in Warsaw.

TVN 24 showed video of a suspect, his features blurred, being bundled into a police car.

“I wanted to kill Kaczynski, but I didn’t have a big enough gun,” the man told the officers.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nathaniel Espino in Warsaw nespino@bloomberg.net Monika Rozlal in Warsaw at mrozlal@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at jagomez@bloomberg.net Willy Morris at wmorris@bloomberg.net

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