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Failures of the security hired by the charity The charity which organised the concert was legally obliged to guarantee security for the event. The cold facts are that the assailant managed to obtain a press pass and in that way managed to get onto the stage. He then attacked the mayor and went on to walk around the stage with the weapon and speak to the crowd over a microphone. Meanwhile, the security guards stood and watched, and it was left to a technician on stage to initiate the action of disabling the attacker before the police appeared and took charge of the situation.

Public investigators have to examine all factors that led up to the murder, including the failures of security. If Mr Owsiak, whose foundation organized the event, is prosecuted, it will not be for his political stances but because of his legal liability as organizer of the event.

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The assailant himself said nothing about the actual charity during his outburst following the stabbing. There is no evidence whatsoever that he had any gripes with either the charity or Mr Owsiak, and was using the concert as a platform for the tragic and criminal airing of his personal grievance.

Since there is no evidence of any other motive apart from a personal one, it is surprising to find that parts of the international media are concentrating on the political angle, an angle that simply does not stand up to scrutiny of the facts. Ruling party presents post-election roadmap.

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Schools and public buildings have put out black-and-white photos of the mayor with black ribbons. They aren't official photos, but images showing Adamowicz during less formal moments.

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His staff has described him as "tireless" and always full of new ideas. There were long workdays, sometimes as long as 12 hours. He taught us all a lot. He was a feisty person, but his firm stance on values meant dealing with hateful attacks," said Magdalena Skorupko-Kaczmarek, the Gdansk city hall spokeswoman.

Read more: Poland's divisions deepen as Gdansk mourns Adamowicz.


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Friday's memorial march for murdered mayor Pawel Adamowicz gathered enormous crowds and wound its way through the streets of Gdansk. The mayor was mindful of the city's German history and invited the city's former residents to visit every four years. Critics called him a "fan of the Germans," Skorupko-Kaczmarek said, at times sardonically asking him if Polish should still be the city's language.

He regularly protested judiciary reforms that he saw as a danger to rule of law. The slain mayor has been described as widely admired, energetic and full of ideas to improve his city. The mayor's participation in Sunday's fatal concert for Poland's largest annual charity event, which raises money for hospital equipment to treat children, was also a political statement. The event's link to a liberal foundation has long been a thorn in PiS' side, given that the millions of Poles who regularly take part nationwide leave the conservatives with little choice but to let it happen.

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Candles in the form of the fundraiser's red heart have since appeared around Poland in memory of the slain mayor. Read more: Why Poland's government is up in arms about a children's charity. She called out the problem of hate speech and the country's bitter divisions, accompanied by harsh verbal attacks on political opposition in the last few years. Many Poles have cited this caustic atmosphere as the deeper cause of the fatal attack. Let's approach each other in a friendly manner. Let's love each other, like Pawel often said.

His death will not be for nothing. Gdansk residents have demonstrated their wish to end the bitter divisions that have heightened tensions across Poland. That applies to the suspect's family, he added. The suspect's mother went to police before the attack, Kowalczuk said based on speaking with her, to report her son's unstable psychological condition. The year-old man had been released from prison in December after serving more than five years for bank robbery. She said she was concerned her son posed a threat to others because he blamed politicians for his situation.

The Gdansk police confirmed her report.

For the deputy mayor, who is concerned about the family suffering retribution for the murder, supporting them is a gesture of goodwill that Adamowicz would have wanted. The funeral will be broadcast live around the city. A prominent mayor's murder at Poland's largest charity event has put a spotlight on the country's conservative government — and how a fundraiser collecting money for hospitals could be a thorn in the government's side.

The murder of Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz is a warning that Polish society has become dangerously polarized and that the country's political right must work to ease rather than stoke tensions, DW's Bartosz Dudek writes. Right-wing groups had threatened Adamowicz. Poland's health minister told local media that Gdansk's mayor died in a hospital after being stabbed at a charity event. A man accused of carrying out the attack is in custody.

At 75, he told DW that retirement is far from his mind and warned against the path Poland's leaders are taking.