Court recording sought in Polish football official's 'ticket-touting' case

Kazimierz Gren
Kazimierz Gren

A SENIOR football official from Poland, who was arrested for “ticket-touting” at the Aviva Stadium, is blocking attempts by the Polish FA to get a copy of the recording of his court case in Dublin.

Judge Michael Walsh has adjourned making a ruling at Dublin District Court on whether he will accede to the request from the Polish Football Association (PZPN) to give them the audio recording from a hearing in March.

The PZPN has commenced disciplinary proceedings against the official, Kazimierz Gren, a well-known figure in Poland, who had travelled to Dublin for his national team's March 29th match against Ireland, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

He is on the board of the Polish Football Association (PZPN) and is also head of the Podkarpacki ZPN, a regional football association in Poland. The 52-year-old and a Polish woman were arrested at Lansdowne Road and found in possession of 12 match tickets on the day of the match.

He ended up spending a night in a cell and the pair were charged under Section 3 of the Casual Trading Act for failing to produce a licence allowing them to sell the tickets in public places.

Gren, who is from Popieluszki, Rzeszow, in south-eastern Poland, and the woman, were brought to appear before Judge Walsh at Dublin District Court the following day, March 30th.

A garda sergeant gave a summary of the facts telling the Judge the case involved selling tickets without a licence at the Ireland-Poland match. “This is ticket-touting” the judge had said.

Gren's solicitor confirmed that his clients, who had the proceedings translated, were pleading guilty and told the court they had been “nearly home and dry" but he asked the judge to note that "they are holding their hands up, pleading guilty.”

The tickets had been sourced in Poland and Gren had been trying to accommodate some Polish people residing in Dublin, the judge was told.

Judge Walsh noted the pair had spent a night in custody. He had said he was marking the case as facts proved but in view of the extenuating circumstances he was striking it out, leaving Mr Gren and the woman without criminal convictions. 

The prosecution has resulted in Gren facing disciplinary proceedings which could seriously affect his future in Polish football. 

Counsel Derek Cooney, for the PZPN, told Judge Walsh that the Polish football association was seeking a copy of the court's digital recording from the hearing.

“Given that he has denied he pleaded guilty, for disciplinary proceedings it is necessary to have a copy of the recording,” Mr Cooney said.

John Noonan BL, for Mr Gren, told Judge Walsh “we are strongly opposing the request”.

Judge Walsh told the lawyers for both sides to lodge written legal submissions within three weeks. He adjourned ruling on the matter on the matter until July 1st.