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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » June 30, 2011
Politics & Society
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News in brief
June 30, 2011   
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CIA Prisons: President Wants Answers
President Bronisław Komorowski said May 30 he expects allegations that the CIA operated a secret prison in Poland will be fully explained. He added he will consider a formal request, if he receives one, to release former President Aleksander Kwaśniewski from an obligation to secrecy on the issue.

Since August 2008 the Warsaw Appellate Prosecutor’s Office has been conducting an investigation to determine whether the Polish authorities allowed secret CIA prisons to be set up in Poland. The investigation is secret and no details have been disclosed, except that it has been established that the CIA carried out more than 10 flights to a military airfield in the village of Szymany, northern Poland.

Human Rights Watch claimed in 2005 that secret CIA prisons had existed in Poland and several other European countries. The organization said that in Poland the CIA had a secret prison at a military intelligence training compound in Stare Kiejkuty near Szymany, or near the Szymany airfield. Last year it was disclosed that the official register of flights to Szymany confirms that in 2003 CIA planes landed at the airfield at least six times.

According to a United Nations report, eight terrorism suspects may have been held in Stare Kiejkuty in 2003-2005. The Council of Europe has made similar accusations against Poland.

Abu Zubaydah, a terrorism suspect and an alleged Al-Qaeda leader, is suing the Polish government, claiming he was tortured at a CIA prison in Poland. Zubaydah is being held at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. His Polish lawyer says Zubaydah was held in detention in Poland from December 2002 to September 2003.

Polish politicians, including Kwaśniewski and former Prime Minister Leszek Miller deny the existence of such prisons in Poland.

Ex-Minister Sues Over Money Laundering Claim
Former Sports Minister Mirosław Drzewiecki has launched legal action against Mariusz Kamiński, former head of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (CBA), for defamation and infringement of his personal interests, Drzewiecki’s lawyer Jacek Dubois said June 7. In an interview for the right-wing weekly Uważam Rze published in May, Kamiński claimed that a former gangster nicknamed Broda had in 2009 given testimony incriminating Drzewiecki. Broda is a former member of the Pruszków gang, one of the largest organized criminal groups in Poland over the last 20 years. Broda reportedly suggested that Drzewiecki had links with gangsters and was involved in money laundering. Kamiński also claimed that Broda’s testimony indicated that some of the money had been used to illegally fund the Civic Platform (PO) party.

Drzewiecki, who quit politics after he was accused of being involved in a gambling scandal and was fired as sports minister—an investigation into alleged illegal lobbying by PO politicians on behalf of businessmen operating casinos and slot machines has been discontinued—denied Kamiński’s allegations. Most PO politicians said Kamiński’s attack marked the beginning of a new “smear campaign” by the opposition Law and Justice (PiS) party in the run-up to the autumn parliamentary elections.
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