Lew Rywin

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Lew Rywin (born November 10, 1945 in a Siberian village) is a Polish film producer associated with Heritage Films (est. 1991). Before that he worked in state-run TV.

He participated in producing such films as Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List, Roman Polanski's The Pianist, and Jakub Kolski's Pornografia.

Bribery Affair

On July 22, 2002 he demanded a bribe from the Agora company, first from Agora's president Wanda Rapaczyńska, and then Adam Michnik, editor in chief of the Gazeta Wyborcza Daily. Rywin claimed that he was sent by the prime minister Leszek Miller and that with connections to an indetermined “power group” (grupa trzymająca władzę) he could cause novel media laws imposing restrictions on TV station ownership for newspaper publishers not to come into force. The bribe sum was reported to be 17.5 million USD.

The deal was made public in Wyborcza's article on December 27, 2002 and resulted in forming a special parliamentary inquiring committee, with Tomasz Nałęcz as chairman. Other notable members of the committee included:

Five out of ten committee members were appointed by the rulling SLD-UP coalition.

The committee's often comical deliberations lasted for over a year and didn't result in any substantial conclusions, but helped reveal numerous irregularities in the legislative procces. The final report, prepared by Błochowiak, denied the existence of a “power group” and emphasized Rywin's own initiative. However minority reports prepared by other committee members claimed otherwise and the farthest reaching of those reports, prepared by Zbigniew Ziobro, was accepted by the Sejm due to a miscalculation made by Miller's party.

Rywin's corruption trial started in December 2003. On April 26, 2004 he was sentenced to 2 and a half years and a fine of 100,000 PLN (about 25,000 USD) for attempted fraud. As of July 2004, the appeal was pending.pl:Lew Rywin

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