Gravely wounded mayor brought back to life on stage

The Australian - - WORLD -

WAR­SAW: A knife-wield­ing as­sailant stabbed the Mayor of the Pol­ish port city of Gdansk in front of hun­dreds of peo­ple at a char­ity event, leav­ing the politi­cian fight­ing for his life.

The at­tacker burst on to the podium and launched him­self at Pawel Adamow­icz, 53, who had been wav­ing sparklers on stage along with oth­ers at the Sun­day evening fundraiser.

After knif­ing the mayor sev­eral times, the man turned to the crowd with his arms raised tri­umphantly but was quickly ap­pre- hended by se­cu­rity guards and ar­rested. Paramedics re­sus­ci­tated Mr Adamow­icz at the scene be­fore rush­ing him to hos­pi­tal where he had surgery.

“There is hope but his con­di­tion re­mains se­ri­ous,” said Pol­ish Pres­i­dent An­drzej Duda, adding that Mr Adamow­icz was alive but “gravely wounded”.

A Gdansk po­lice spokesman said the de­tained man was a 27year-old who lived in the city.

In a video record­ing of the at­tack posted on YouTube, the sus­pect was seen seiz­ing the mi­cro­phone and claim­ing he had been wrongly jailed by the pre­vi­ous cen­trist gov­ern­ment of the Civic Plat­form (PO) and tor­tured.

“That’s why Adamow­icz dies,” he said be­fore be­ing knocked down to the ground by se­cu­rity.

One wit­ness told broad­caster TVN the man ap­peared “happy with what he had done”.

Mr Adamow­icz has been Mayor of Gdansk, whose pop­u­la­tion num­bers about 500,000, for two decades and the Civic Plat­form had sup­ported his re-elec­tion in 2018 mu­nic­i­pal elec­tions.

Sun­day’s event was part of a na­tional drive to raise funds to buy med­i­cal equip­ment and fea­tured a colour­ful stage in­clud­ing lights, smoke and py­rotech­nics.

Ac­cord­ing to Pol­ish me­dia, the sus­pect had been sen­tenced to more than five years in prison for four armed at­tacks on banks in Gdansk. His men­tal state had se­verely de­te­ri­o­rated dur­ing his time in jail, re­ports said.

Po­lice were in­ves­ti­gat­ing how the at­tacker had been able to breach se­cu­rity to reach the podium, Gdansk po­lice spokes- woman Joanna Kowa­lik-Kosin­ska said. “We know he used an iden­ti­fier with the in­scrip­tion ‘Press’,” she said. “Now we have to es­tab­lish how it was ob­tained, was the ac­cred­i­ta­tion in his name and was he really en­ti­tled to be there at that time?”

The direc­tor of the hos­pi­tal in Gdansk where the mayor was taken, Jakub Kraszewski, said just be­fore mid­night that surgery was un­der way. “He is in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion ... we are bat­tling to save him,” the direc­tor said.

AFP

Paramedics work on the mayor after he was stabbed

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