Walesa spy claims thrown out

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The Independent Online

A Polish court yesterday threw out claims that Lech Walesa, hero of the anti-Communist Solidarity trade union movement, once worked as an informer for the secret police.

A Polish court yesterday threw out claims that Lech Walesa, hero of the anti-Communist Solidarity trade union movement, once worked as an informer for the secret police.

The case against Mr Walesa collapsed in tatters when the court was presented with new evidence that the allegations against him were lies made up by the secret police to discredit Mr Walesa in his glory years of the early Eighties.

It emerged yesterday that the SB, Poland's Communist secret police, forged files suggesting that Mr Walesa was an informer, codenamed Bolek, to prevent him from winning the Nobel Peace Prize, which he was awarded in 1983. "I was fighting the Communists," said a defiant Mr Walesa as he headed into court yesterday.

"It was a life or death struggle. The case shows the power of the secret services is still considerable." The allegations emerged after Mr Walesa declared that he would stand in October's presidential elections. Under a new law, candidates for high office must declare whether they had any links with the SB. There is no penalty for admitting links but anyone who is found to have lied is automatically barred from public office for 10 years.

Opinion polls suggest Mr Walesa, who was post-Communist Poland's first president, is unlikely to make a comeback.

The case was the second of its kind to be thrown out in as many days. On Thursday, the court rejected allegations that Aleksander Kwasniewksi, the current President, and the frontrunner for October, once worked for the SB.

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