Walesa admits ‘mistake,’ but denies he was spy

Lech Walesa
Lech Walesa

Lech Walesa

Solidarity freedom hero Lech Walesa admitted on Friday he had “made a mistake,” but flatly denied he was ever a paid secret agent who collaborated with Poland’s communist regime amid fresh allegation triggered by newly-found files.

Poland’s first post-communist president, who was cleared of suspicion by a special vetting court in 2000, did not elaborate on what his mistake was, but pointed to a mystery person who “should reveal the truth” about the past.

“They didn’t break me in 1970 and I didn’t cooperate with the SB (secret police), I never took money, and I never ratted on anyone either verbally or in writing,” the 72-year-old Nobel Peace laureate wrote on his blog.

“I made a mistake, but not this (collaboration), and I vowed not to reveal it, certainly not yet, not now,” he said, enigmatically.

But he added: “There is a person, a perpetrator, who is still alive who should reveal the truth and I’m counting on it. I had a soft heart.”

The Solidarity leader is currently on a trip to Venezuela and the United States.

Poland’s IPN institute responsible for prosecuting communist-era crimes on Thursday revealed a newly-found 1970s secret police file showing Walesa was a paid collaborator codenamed “Bolek.”

Experts have consistently raised doubts about the credibility of communist-era secret police files, arguing they could easily have been manufactured to frame opposition activists like Walesa.

Although he previously admitted to having signed “a paper” for police during one of his many interrogations as a dissident, Walesa has always called allegations he collaborated “absurd.”

The Solidarity leader in 1989 negotiated a bloodless end to communism in Poland also vowed to prove his innocence in court again.

Rumours have long swirled that he covertly fed the communist regime information while leading the freedom-fighting Solidarity, the Soviet bloc’s only independent trade union.


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