Walesa Cleared of Collaboration Accusation

The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 16, 2005; 12:56 PM

WARSAW, Poland -- Poland's historical institute cleared Solidarity founder and former President Lech Walesa on Wednesday of allegations he collaborated with the communist-era secret police, formally declaring him a victim of the feared intelligence apparatus.

"Poland has a hero who should be our communal hero and around whom we should unite our history," Leon Kieres, the acting head of the National Remembrance Institute, said following the announcement, the news agency PAP reported.


Former President of Poland Lech Walesa is seen in this Wednesday, Sept 28, 2005 file photo. A play about the life of Walesa, Poland's legendary leader who helped topple communism, premiered Saturday night, Nov. 12, 2005 to a full house in his home city of Gdansk. (AP Photo/Adam Rountree)
Former President of Poland Lech Walesa is seen in this Wednesday, Sept 28, 2005 file photo. A play about the life of Walesa, Poland's legendary leader who helped topple communism, premiered Saturday night, Nov. 12, 2005 to a full house in his home city of Gdansk. (AP Photo/Adam Rountree) (Adam Rountree - AP)

In 2000, a court cleared Walesa of collaboration with authorities during Poland's communist era. But Walesa requested in March that the institute investigate his files anew after a participant in a debate on the ultraconservative station Radio Maryja alleged he had cooperated with communist officials.

Walesa, who won the 1983 Noble Peace Prize, brought charges against the radio station this spring, claiming it lied about his past.

After Wednesday's announcement, Walesa expressed satisfaction at the finding.

"I never betrayed either workers or ideas," Walesa said on TVN24. "I was never on the communist side _ I was its mortal enemy."

Walesa has faced similar allegations for years, even from fellow dissidents who founded Solidarity with him in 1980.

Walesa, who was imprisoned during martial law in the early 1980s, went on to serve as president from 1990-1995.


© 2005 The Associated Press