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14 Jan, 2019 13:44

Polish mayor stabbed in shocking on-stage attack dies in hospital

Polish mayor stabbed in shocking on-stage attack dies in hospital

The mayor of Poland’s northern city of Gdansk, who was critically injured by a knifeman during a charity concert performance, has succumbed to his wounds in hospital, a medical official has said.

Mayor Pawel Adamowicz was on Sunday stabbed several times by a man claiming to have been wrongfully accused and jailed. Known only as Stefan W., the attacker ran to the stage at an annual charity event collecting money for Polish medical facilities. The assault took place right in front of a crowd of people. The knifeman then grabbed the microphone, accusing the mayor’s party, The Civil Platform, of his alleged ordeal.

The 53-year-old Adamowicz suffered a serious injury to the heart as well as cuts to his diaphragm and abdominal organs and had to be resuscitated right on stage before being hospitalized. He underwent emergency surgery and was placed on life support “in a very critical condition,” Jerzy Karpinski, a physician with the Gdansk regional health department, told the Polish PAP news agency. Adamowicz succumbed to his injuries on Monday.

Interior Minister Joachim Brudzinski has called the knifeman “a repeat offender who has been convicted of armed robberies,” in a Twitter post, denying that there was any political motive behind the incident. Stefan W. has been charged with homicide, a spokesman for the Polish Prosecutor’s Office confirmed.

The 27-year-old attacker, himself a resident of Gdansk, was wearing a press badge, police said, explaining how he managed to get to the stage.

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The assaliant served a five-and-a-half-year prison sentence and was released in late December, Polish Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro told reporters. He added that the man had unsuccessfully applied for his conditional release three times before eventually serving his time in full.

Prosecutor Krzysztof Sierak said the knifeman is now set to undergo psychiatric examination. However, he has apparently been found to be mentally unstable in the past.

“During his prison term, closer to its end, a psychiatrist examined this person. It was detected that he was in remission of a serious [mental] disorder... This did not impede him from serving his term to the end,” a representative of the Polish penitentiary service told Sputnik news agency.

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