Walesa objects to old-style superspy

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The Independent Online
WARSAW (Reuter) - The Polish President, Lech Walesa, asked the government yesterday to revoke the appointment of a former Communist-era super- spy to head Poland's intelligence service. The presidential office said Mr Walesa was concerned that the appointment of Marian Zacharski, who received a life sentence in Los Angeles in 1981 for spying, would harm Poland's relations with the West.

'The President appreciates Mr Zacharski's professionalism and experience,' it said. 'But (he) thinks his nomination would render difficult the process of integration between Poland and the West.' Mr Zacharski, who was appointed on Monday, is believed to have intercepted secret plans of Hawk and Phoenix missiles and those of the anti-missile system, Patriot, during his espionage operations in the United States between 1975 and 1981. Following his trial he was exchanged in 1985 for Western agents caught in the then Soviet Bloc and has held no official posts since then.

Mr Walesa's demand came amid harsh criticism from the opposition that the left-wing coalition of the Prime Minister, Waldemar Pawlak, was appointing old apparatchiks to key positions. 'The intelligence services give clear preferences to the old Communist-era officials,' said Andrzej Potocki, spokesman for the Union of Freedom party, the biggest opposition group.

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