Poles upset by corruption allegations against freedom hero

AP News
Posted: Dec 01, 2016 8:39 AM

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Former Polish president and Solidarity founder Lech Walesa says he does not believe corruption allegations that prosecutors have made against another legendary activist of the 1980s freedom movement.

In a case that has shocked the nation, prosecutors are seeking the arrest of Jozef Pinior, former senator and European Parliament lawmaker.

Prosecutor Piotr Baczynski said Thursday it was a "very difficult decision" for him because he considers Pinior a national hero, but insisted he had sufficient evidence that Pinior accepted some 46,000 zlotys ($11,000) in bribes. Pinior denies this.

In a daring 1981 action, Pinior saved the Solidarity movement's 80 million zlotys ($19 million) from being seized by communist authorities, shortly before martial law.

Critics of the current government say its anti-corruption policy mainly targets political opponents.