Lech Walesa ‘was paid Communist informant’, say Polish investigators

 (2)
Poland's history institute, which is responsible for investigating crimes perpetrated under the previous Communist regime, said that newly seized documents suggested former president and Solidarity leader Lech Walesa was an informer.
Lech Walesa
© Reuters/Scanpix

The documents were taken earlier this week from the home of a former communist-era interior minister, General Czeslaw Kiszczak. Kiszczak had played a leading role in trying to break up the first independent trade union in the Soviet bloc, Solidarity.

Lukasz Kaminski, head of the Institute of National Remembrance, said the documents appear authentic. Mr Walesa has long denied being an informer in the 1970s.

Mr Kaminski gave details of what he claimed was inside a file on Mr Walesa, covering the period 1970-1976:

"Inside the personal file there is an envelope and inside, a hand written commitment to cooperate with the secret police signed 'Lech Walesa - Bolek'," he said.

Mr Kaminski said that among the documents were some "hand-written confirmations of receiving funds", signed with the pseudonym 'Bolek'.

"In the work folder... are many reports by a secret informant with the pseudonym 'Bolek' and notes by secret police officers from meetings with the secret informant," he said.

Walesa himself immediately denied the allegations. The former president said the new materials could not have originated from him, according to Polish radio.

Experts have consistently raised doubts about the credibility of communist-era secret police files, arguing they could easily have been manufactured to frame opposition activists like Walesa.

Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for non-violent resistance in 1983. Walesa was a worker at the shipyards in Gdansk.

All the 279 pages of documents have not yet been properly analysed, and will be made public in due course, Kaminski said.

Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments
 

CENTRAL / EASTERN EUROPE

PM hails progress in relations with Poland

Lithuanian Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says that Vilnius and Warsaw are gradually moving to a new stage of better relations and hopes that Lithuanian politicians will solve the highly contentious issue of the spelling of Polish names in Lithuanian personal documents.

Warsaw: Leaked words of Sikorski, Orlen CEO don't reflect Poland's position

The leaked recordings of conversations between Poland's former foreign minister Radoslaw Sikorski and then CEO of oil company Orlen, Jacek Krawiec, about investments in Mažeikiai oil refinery in Lithuania do not reflect the position of the current Polish government, Warsaw said on Wednesday.

Saakashvili in Vilnius: Russia readying to take over Belarus

On the 9-year anniversary of the Russia-Georgia war, Georgia's then leader Mikheil Saakashvili said in Vilnius that Belarus would be Moscow's next target.

Lithuanía's response to Russia OSCE forum: Guerrilla fought Soviet terror

Lithuania's ambassador has rejected Russia's reproaches on historical memory, emphasizing at an international diplomatic forum that the guerrilla resistance to Soviet occupation after World War II was legitimate.

Ministries to update recommendations on travels to Eastern neighbors

Following a scandal surrounding a trip to Russia by youth of Plungė, western Lithuania, a few ministries will update their recommendations on cooperation with Eastern neighbors to ensure due attention to the factor of hostile propaganda, a decision was made at a meeting of the parliamentary National Security and Defense Committee and relevant institutions.