This dispatch was passed through Polish military censorship.
A Warsaw court today sentenced three workers from one of the capital's largest car factories to two years in prison for organizing a strike in defiance of martial-law regulations.
The sentences, which were announced in front of an open courtroom packed with the three men's relatives and coworkers from the FSO car factory, were relatively mild in comparison with those handed out to other alleged strike leaders. The prosecutor had demanded sentences of between seven and eight years for illegal union activity and organizing a strike.
The three defendants, all experienced workers at FSO, were: Zygmunt Kaminski, 58, a quality-control technician, Edward Glowacki, 37, the plant's delegate to regional Solidarity headquarters in Warsaw, and Janusz Pienkowski, 42, a metalworker.
Defense lawyers argued that the strike that began at the FSO factory on Dec. 14, a day after the imposition of martial law, had been a spontaneous reaction by workers to the crackdown and the suspension of the independent Solidarity trade union. According to this argument, which is being used by the defense in most such trials taking place now, there were no leaders and no strike committee.
Evidence for the prosecution was given by a former Solidarity official at the plant, Krzystof Wisniewski, who is serving a two-month sentence for taking part in a strike. He accused Pienkowski of drafting a communique containing the strikers' demands and Kaminski of helping to organize a meeting of workers.
The prosecutor, in summation, said Solidarity had strayed from its authorized functions by becoming a political movement rather than a trade union. The government declared martial law and suspended the right to strike to protect the interests of the state, she said.
"Society wanted peace," she added. "The accused were fully aware of what they were doing and violated the martial-law regulations with premeditation. They wanted to force the authorities into yet more concession."
Referring to the new summary procedures introduced in Polish courts, Kaminski's defense counsel quoted a passage from "The Good Soldier Szwejk," the classic novel by the Czechoslovak writer Jaroslaw Hasek: "A martial-law court is no joke." He added that it was impossible to challenge the legality of the martial-law regulations.
"Solidarity gave us new hope and united the nation. It was necessary for us just as air and water are necessary for us," Kaminski told the court. "The prosecutor has attacked Solidarity for what took place in the last 15 months, but during that time no one lost his life and no windows were broken."
The judge, after sentencing, dropped the summary proceeding, which means the defendants have the right of appeal.