Polish opposition asks top court to block central bank head probe

Poland's newly appointed central bank governor Glapinski attends a meeting at the Parliament in Warsaw

WARSAW (Reuters) -Polish opposition party Law and Justice (PiS) has asked the top court to declare laws allowing a parliamentary committee to summon the central bank chief for hearings unconstitutional in a bid to block a probe planned by the ruling coalition.

Lawmakers from Prime Minister Donald Tusk's coalition are planning to submit a preliminary motion to put central bank chief Adam Glapinski before a state tribunal by the end of the month. The motion would be dealt with by the constitutional responsibility committee in the parliament and Glapinski could be summoned for hearings.

Glapinski, whose ties to the leader of Law and Justice, the former ruling party, go back decades, has been accused by Tusk's government of not being sufficiently independent.

A motion to the Constitutional Court concerning a procedure at the committee was submitted on March 6, Krzysztof Szczucki, a PiS lawmaker who sits on the committee, told Reuters on Thursday.

"The central bank governor does not respond to the parliament, so the initial proceedings should not be held before the constitutional responsibility committee, it should be a body that would not infringe his independence," Szczucki said.

"The goal is for the process to follow the rules, but we expect it will attempt to harass the central bank governor."

The government has vowed to ensure that those it accuses of wrongdoing during the rule of the previous nationalist administration will be brought to account. It has launched sweeping changes in state media and restore the constitutional court independence.

"The tribunal is so contaminated with lawlessness that it is unable to fulfill its constitutional role,” Kamila Gasiuk-Pihowicz, a lawmaker from Tusk's Civic Coalition party and a member of the constitutional responsibility committee told Reuters.

She did not give a date when the motion to probe Glapinski would be ready."We approach this with a great responsibility, we're conducting analyses, I'm not able to give a specific date when the motion will be ready."

(Reporting by Marek Strzelecki; Editing by Leslie Adler and Alistair Bell)