More security for Polish leaders after attack

AP News
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Posted: Oct 25, 2010 11:08 AM
More security for Polish leaders after attack

Bodyguards have been assigned to protect several Polish politicians after officials found a hit list on the body of a man who killed a conservative party activist last week, several officials said Monday.

The attacker fatally shot a low-ranking member of the Law and Justice party and seriously injured another last Tuesday. He shouted during the attack that he wanted to kill party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the twin brother of the president who died in the plane crash in Russia earlier this year.

The attack and beefed-up security come amid heightened political tensions in Poland following that crash. Much of the controversy has revolved around Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who has repeatedly railed against the government and accused it of not enforcing stringent security procedures that might have prevented the crash.

Kaczynski also accused Prime Minister Donald Tusk of bearing moral responsibility for last week's killing. "What happened is the result of a huge campaign of hate against Law and Justice under way for a long time," Kaczynski said last week, adding that Tusk launched the period of aggressive language.

Kaczynski's opponents sharply reject such accusations and instead accuse Kaczynski of sowing trouble. One lawmaker, Stefan Niesiolowski, said last week that Kaczynski has sparked a "cold civil war" and urged him to leave politics.

Niesiolowski, who is with Tusk's ruling center-right Civic Platform party, is one of those assigned body guards.

But it goes across the political spectrum. Others include a former left-wing prime minister, Leszek Miller, as well as Zbigniew Ziobro, the deputy leader of Kaczynski's party _ a deeply pro-Catholic and conservative group that has fought the continued influence of former communists.

Miller told The Associated Press that he was informed by an office in charge of protecting government officials that he now needs a bodyguard _ "and I accepted that because I do not question the office's decisions."

Prime Minister Donald Tusk acknowledged Monday that security has been stepped up for some politicians, but wouldn't say for whom or for how many.

Last week's attacker, identified only as Ryszard C., 62, in keeping with Poland's privacy laws, is under arrest and under psychiatric observation.

A funeral for the victim, Marek Rosiak, will be held Thursday in Lodz, the city where he was killed.

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Associated Press writer Monika Scislowska contributed to this report.