Polish first lady tells of donation by CRH

More very dodgy sounding dealings from Poland:

Poland’s first lady, Jolanta Kwasniewska, has told a parliamentary inquiry that Marek Dochnal, who claims he arranged a $1 million bribe on behalf of CRH, introduced her to the company in 1997.

CRH, which denies the bribery allegations, has said its only contact with Mr Dochnal was in relation to the purchase of his company’s stake in a holding company prior to the privatisation of a Polish cement plant in 1995.

Mrs Kwasniewska said Mr Dochnal was instrumental in arranging a meeting at which CRH agreed to give 500,000 zloties (€125,000) to her charity, Communication without Barriers, the biggest single donation it received in 1997.

“I’m certain that Mr Dochnal’s conversations with that firm were very significant. I wouldn’t have met CRH, were it not for the previous conversation with Mr Dochnal I’ve got here a letter from CRH, where this company points to Mr Dochnal as the organiser.”

Mrs Kwasniewska said CRH suggested that Mr Dochnal help to arrange her official programme during a visit to Ireland in 1997 with her husband, President Aleksander Kwasniewski.

“CRH, an Irish company, which took part in the privatisation of the Ozarow cement factory in 1995, introduced Mr Dochnal to me as somebody who could arrange certain details concerning our meeting before our official visit,” she said.

The inquiry heard further details of Mr Dochnal’s allegation that he bribed Poland’s former privatisation minister, Wieslaw Kaczmarek, on behalf of CRH.