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Saturday 21 April 2018

Lech Walesa denies informing for communist regime

Lech Walesa led the Solidarity movement that eventually ousted the communists (AP)
Lech Walesa led the Solidarity movement that eventually ousted the communists (AP)

Lech Walesa, Poland's revered anti-communist leader and former president, has denied claims that he informed on people to the communist regime or took money from the secret security service.

He was reacting to claims by a state history institute that recently seized documents showed a commitment to provide information signed with Mr Walesa's name and codename, Bolek, as well as reports and receipts for money, dating from 1970-76.

"I was never broken (into collaboration) in December 1970, I did not collaborate with the (secret security), I never took money and never made any spoken or written report on anyone," he wrote in a blog.

In 1970 Mr Walesa was a workers' protest leader and in 1976 was fired from his shipyard job. In 1980 he led the Solidarity freedom movement that eventually ousted the communists.

Head of the National Remembrance Institute, Lukasz Kaminski, has said the documents look authentic but historians still need to check whether what they contain is true.

Mr Walesa said in the blog that during the many raids on his home and workplaces, secret police seized his handwritten notes, also from a 1970 worker protest, that can now be "used as information on people".

He is a globally recognised symbol of Poland's successful and peaceful struggle against communism and its transition to democracy. He won the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending communism in Poland and across eastern Europe.

Observers note that the documents, for decades held at the home of the last communist interior minister, are being revealed now as Poland has a new right-wing ruling party that has voiced allegations against Mr Walesa. The party leaders maintain it was a corrupt deal that Solidarity struck with the communist authorities in 1989 that paved the way for democracy.

Press Association

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