Walesa denies he informed regime on others or took money

AP News
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Posted: Feb 19, 2016 6:37 AM
Walesa denies he informed regime on others or took money

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Lech Walesa, Poland's legendary anti-communist leader and former president, on Friday denied renewed allegations that he informed on people to the communist regime or took money from the secret security service.

Walesa was reacting to claims by a state history institute that recently seized documents include a commitment to provide information signed with Walesa's name and codename, "Bolek," and reports and receipts for money, dating from 1970-76.

"I was never broken (collaborating) in December 1970. I did not collaborate with the (secret security). I never took money and never made any spoken or written report on anyone," Walesa wrote on a blog. "I trust that truth will defend itself."

Head of the National Remembrance Institute, Lukasz Kaminski, has said the documents look authentic but historians still need to check whether what they contain is true.

Walesa said on the blog that during the many raids on his home and work places, the secret police seized his handwritten notes, also from a 1970 worker protest, that can now be "used as information on people."

In 1970, Walesa was a worker protest leader at the Gdansk shipyard but in 1976 was fired from his job. In 1980 he joined and led another protest at the shipyard that grew into Poland's nationwide Solidarity freedom movement that eventually ousted the communists.

He is globally-recognized icon of Poland's successful and peaceful struggle against communism and its transition to democracy. He won the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in ending communism in Poland and across Eastern Europe.

Observers note that the documents, for decades held at the home of the last communist interior minister, are being revealed now as Poland has a new right-wing ruling party that has voiced allegations against Walesa. The party leaders also maintain it was a corrupt deal that Solidarity struck with the communist authorities in 1989 that paved the way for democracy.

The institute's rush to reveal the documents on Walesa without checking their reliability has also raised questions.