WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The man who fatally stabbed Gdansk Mayor Paweł Adamowicz in 2019 was sentenced to life in prison by a Polish court on Thursday.
Stefan Wilmont stabbed the 53-year-old Adamowicz on stage during a life charity event on Jan. 13, 2019. Adamowicz died from his wounds the next day despite a blood transfusion and other efforts by doctors to save him. The killing shocked Poles and plunged the nation into grief.
Judge Aleksandra Kaczmarek said in her ruling that Wilmont had committed an “unprecedented murder” in Poland’s history, but didn't say it was a political crime, despite Wilmont's criticism of the party that Adamowicz belonged to, which is now in the opposition.
Kaczmarek stressed that Wilmont's crime was “terrifying” as he had planned it in a way for the public to see and later showed no remorse during the trial.
The sentencing came after a three-year long investigation and a year-long trial and was in line with the prosecution's motion. Wilmont’s lawyers said they would appeal the sentence.
Adamowicz's brother, lawmaker Piotr Adamowicz, said the verdict closed one stage in the case, but that an appeal trial could be expected later this year.
“No one can give my brother his life back,” Adamowicz said.
The situation is not “not easy” for the family who went through a “huge tragedy in 2019” that is brought back to them at every court session.
The conservative ruling Law and Justice party has faced accusations that a hostile atmosphere created against Adamowicz and other socially liberal politicians spread by state media created fertile ground for the violence against him.