A Polish military prosecutor facing accusations of “illegal actions” abruptly stopped a news conference he had called Tuesday, went into his office to “take a break,” and shot himself, the Associated Press reported.. Colonel Mikolaj Przybyl miraculously survived the gunshot.
The scene was reminiscent of a 1987 press conference called by Pennsylvania State Treasurer Budd Dwyer, who declared before reporters that he was innocent of charges of kickbacks and bribes, and then shot himself with a .357 Magnum Smith and Wesson model 27. Unlike Przybyl, Dwyer died almost instantly.
From the hospital, Przybyl explained the pressure he was under:
“I could accept the fact that my car had been demolished, that my tire had been loosened in an attempt to kill me, that my dog had been killed. I also knew a bounty of (zlotys)1million had been put on my head. But I couldn’t accept the fact that I had been accused of an illegal action.”
One million zlotys is the equivalent of almost $300,000.
The Polish media has suggested military prosecutors like Przybyl broke the law while investigating the 2010 crash of a plane that killed then-president Lech Kaczynsk and nearly 100 other high-ranking Polish officials. Przybyl says they did not.
TV cameras were left rolling after Przybyl left the conference Tuesday, so there is footage of the sound (but not the sight) of the prosecutor attempting suicide. Watch the video below. WARNING: Graphic images and sounds.
Wikipedia has this list of some of the politicians who have committed suicide throughout history. A large percentage of those who took their lives had faced charges of wrongdoing before death.
More world news coverage: