Seized documents show that Poland’s former president and Solidarity founder, Lech Walesa, was a paid informant for the communist-era secret security service, the head of the country’s history institute has said.
Walesa, the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, previously acknowledged signing a commitment to be an informant, but said he never acted on it.
In 2000, he was cleared by a special court, which found no evidence of collaboration.
Lukasz Kaminski, head of the National Remembrance Institute, said documents seized from the home of the last communist interior minister, the late General Czeslaw Kiszczak, include a commitment to provide information, which is signed with Mr Walesa’s name and his codename, Bolek.
There are also pages of reports, and receipts for money, from the 1970s, signed Bolek. Mr Walesa, 72, in a written message from Venezuela, where he is travelling, suggested the papers were fake.
“There can exist no documents coming from me. I will prove that in court,” he said.
The 279 pages will be made public in due course, Mr Kaminski said, but historians needed time to analyse their content.
Antoni Dudek, the institute’s leading historian, said the impact would not be that great, unless evidence emerged that Mr Walesa continued to be an informant after he had founded the Solidarity freedom movement.
“Lech Walesa is the symbol of Poland’s struggle for freedom, he is the symbol of Solidarity, and nothing can destroy that, unless we learn that he continued that collaboration,” Dudek said.
According to Kaminski, five more packets of seized documents have not been opened. Prosecutors and police were also searching Kiszczak’s summer house.
Communism and Moscow’s control were imposed on Poland, and other countries in the region, after the Second World War, and were despised and opposed by most people.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved