Letter: Polish secret service suspected of press attacks

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The Independent Online
Sir: Following the publication in the Polish monthly Gazeta Polska of comprehensive details of political figures who were secret police agents, its editor and staff are now being investigated by the public prosecutor with a view to charging them with having divulged state secrets - an admission in itself that the published information was accurate.

On the night of Wednesday to Thursday this week, the paper's sparse two-room offices were broken into and wrecked. The wanton destruction and taking away of documents point to yet another politically inspired attack on those who support a centre-right option in Poland.

In the recent past similar break- ins have taken place at the offices of the former prime minister Jan Olszewski and his defence minister, Jan Parys. In addition there have been physical attacks on journalists and publishers, including one case of arson that resulted in the death of the journalist's wife. For the past three days, Gazeta Polska's editor and deputy editor have quite blatantly been the subject of surveillance, even to the extent of being photographed from a window opposite their offices.

The consensus of opinion is that all the above operations were carried out by officials connected with the security service and, ipso facto, with the full knowledge and consent of the highest executive.

While direct interference in Poland's domestic affairs is precluded, it would be reassuring to know that the British Government is at the very least aware of these disturbing occurrences.

Yours sincerely,

C. A. JOHN

Poland

26 June

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