Gdansk mayor dies after stabbed on stage at charity event

Pauline Gross
January 14, 2019

The incident took place at the finale of the annual Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity event, which was attended by hundreds of people.

A spokeswoman for Poland's ruling right-wing party has condemned a knife attack on an opposition city mayor as "barbaric" and has called for less aggression in politics.

The Great Orchestra of Christmas Charity raises money for state-of-the-art medical equipment Poland's cash-strapped health care system, mostly for children but also for the elderly.

Immediately after the stabbing, Mr Adamowicz was taken to hospital for serious abdominal injuries and underwent a five-hour surgery.

Poland's President, Andrzej Duda, tweeted that doctors told him they were able to restart Adamowicz's heart and "there is hope but the condition is still very hard".

Adamowicz was resuscitated by doctors on the stage, and was then rushed to a nearby hospital.

"There is hope but his condition is very hard", he said on Twitter, calling on people to pray for Mr Adamowicz. As of Monday morning Adamowicz had required 20 liters of blood. Gdansk Archbishop Slawoj Leszek Glod went to the hospital while the operation was underway, the internet news portal Onet reported.

After the attack, the assailant shouted from the stage that he had been wrongly imprisoned under a previous national government led by Civic Platform, the party to which the mayor once belonged.

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TVN broadcast footage of the perpetrator, just after the attack yelling that his name was Stefan and that "I was jailed but innocent".

Mr Owsiak was seen in the animation being controlled by a Civic Platform official grabbing piles of banknotes with a Star of David on one of them.

"That's why Adamowicz dies", he said.

A local police spokesman said the detained man was a 27-year-old who lived in Gdansk, a Baltic coast city with a population of around half a million that was the cradle of Poland's anti-communist Solidarity movement in the 1980s. It is unclear how he acquired the credential.

He was arrested and is under investigation.

Adamowicz has been mayor of Gdansk, whose population numbers around half a million, for two decades and the Civic Platform had supported his re-election in 2018 municipal elections.

Overseas officials including EU President Donald Tusk, European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans and mayor of London Sadiq Khan also expressed their support for Adamowicz. "Patel we are with you".

Ciarka said police were checking how the man got hold of a media pass, and whether it was authentic, as it allowed him to get on stage and stab Adamowicz during a popular nationwide charity event.

Other reports by GizPress

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