Handwriting ‘proves’ Poland’s Walesa was spy: Report

Lech Walesa
Updated 30 January 2017

Handwriting ‘proves’ Poland’s Walesa was spy: Report

WARSAW: Polish prosecutors will on Tuesday present what they believe is proof that Solidarity freedom hero Lech Walesa collaborated with the communist-era secret police, the national news agency PAP reported.
Citing unnamed sources close to the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), which prosecutes crimes from the communist-era and from the Nazi occupation, the PAP said Sunday a team of forensic experts had come to that conclusion notably through handwriting analysis.
The 73-year-old former president and Nobel Peace laureate has been battling the allegations since last year, when the IPN seized previously unknown secret police files from the widow of a communist-era interior minister.
The IPN has said the files include a collaboration agreement signed with “Lech Walesa” and his alleged codename “Bolek.”
Walesa, who co-founded the independent Solidarity union and then negotiated a bloodless end to communism in Poland in 1989, has repeatedly denied the authenticity of the documents and once again called the accusations a “lie” on Saturday.
He enigmatically admitted however last year to having “made a mistake” and in the past had said he signed “a paper” for the secret police during one of his many interrogations.
A book published by the IPN in 2008 alleged that while the regime registered Walesa as a secret agent in December 1970, he was cut loose in June 1976 due to his “unwillingness to cooperate." 
Poles have mixed feelings about Walesa. His boldness in standing up to the communist regime is still widely respected, but the combative and divisive tone of his later presidency earned him scorn in many quarters.

 


India moves Kashmiri village leaders to safety after wave of attacks

Updated 59 min 55 sec ago

India moves Kashmiri village leaders to safety after wave of attacks

  • Separatists fighting Indian rule in the disputed region have stepped up attacks on lower level politicians
  • Two security officials said that around 500 politicians had been moved since Thursday

SRINAGAR: India has shifted scores of village and municipality leaders, mostly from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling party, to secure locations in Kashmir after a spate of militant attacks, police and two security officials said on Friday.
Separatists fighting Indian rule in the disputed region have stepped up attacks on lower level politicians, many of whom do not have personal security guards, in recent weeks.
“It is a temporary arrangement,” Kashmir valley’s police chief Vijay Kumar told Reuters. “We will devise a strategy to provide security to those who are vulnerable.”
Two security officials, asking not to be named, said that around 500 politicians had been moved since Thursday, after militants shot dead a village council leader from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in southern Kashmir.
Many of those under protection have been housed in hotels and government buildings guarded by paramilitary troops, one official said. “We don’t want to take any chances,” he said.
Sofi Yousuf, a BJP vice president in Kashmir, said that his colleagues were being targeted to prevent the party from expanding in the Himalayan region, where insurgents have waged war against New Delhi since the late 1980s.
“They want to create a fear psychosis on the ground,” Yousuf said.
The federal government has been trying to promote political activities since it revoked Kashmir’s special status in an attempt to draw it closer to the rest of the country.
But the loss of special privileges stoked anger across the region and this week authorities imposed a strict lockdown on the first anniversary of that decision.
Underlining the difficulties the government faces in restoring normalcy to Kashmir, around a dozen BJP members resigned from the party this week, fearing militant attacks.