Walesa may sue state body over alleged collaboration

Associated Press

Warsaw, Poland — Poland’s democracy champion and Solidarity founder Lech Walesa said Monday that he might sue a history institute over documents it released that purport he was a communist-era paid informant.

Walesa denies the allegations and says the documents released by the state National Remembrance Institute last week are forged. But he has also admitted to having signed some documents for the communist-era security police in the 1970s and recently said he had made a “mistake,” but didn’t specify its nature.

In 2000, a special court cleared him of collaboration allegations, saying it found no proof.

The 72-year-old Walesa said Monday he wants to see the files held at the institute and that the issue will “probably” end in court, where he will want to prove that they have been fabricated. The documents were recently seized from the home of a communist-era official and were speedily released by the institute without deeper examination by experts.

In 2011, the institute said that in the early 1980s communist authorities tried to prevent Walesa from getting a Nobel Peace Prize by fabricating documents to suggest that he was a collaborator. In spite of that, Walesa got the prize in 1983 for founding and leading Poland’s Solidarity freedom movement.

Also Monday, the institute’s prosecutors were searching the house of late communist-era leader Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski for any documents that could be found there. Jaruzelski imposed martial law in 1981 and had Walesa arrested, as he sought to crush Solidarity. The nationwide movement prevailed, leading to the 1989 ouster of the communists.