Polish anti-government activists charged with fraud

Polish prosecutors have filed fraud charges against the former leader of an anti-government organization who led a string of street protests starting in 2015.

Prosecutors on Tuesday accused Mateusz Kijowski, the former head of the Committee for the Defense of Democracy, as well as former treasurer Piotr Chabora, of illegally appropriating 121,000 zlotys ($35,000) from the organization, a crime punishable by up to eight years of prison.

Kijowski helped found the group in 2015 to fight judicial changes he and supporters see as anti-democratic. He stepped down after the allegations of financial wrongdoing came to light in 2017.

Kijowski, a computer specialist, says he is targeted for his political activism and that the money he took was for computer work rendered to the organization.