Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, Poland's last communist leader who became infamous for imposing a harsh military crackdown in 1981, says he is extremely ill and close to death.

The 88-year-old, who has undergone chemotherapy for cancer, told the Super Express tabloid that he almost never leaves his house due to weakness.

Jaruzelski began undergoing chemotherapy more than a year ago for lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic cells. He said in the remarks published Friday that "I am in very bad shape and there isn't much life left for me. I will be expiring at home."

In 1981 Jaruzelski imposed martial law intending to crush the Solidarity freedom movement _ which eventually overthrew communist rule in 1989. Jaruzelski says the move prevented a likely Soviet invasion.