Poland's sacked interior minister detained

Poland's recently sacked interior minister and former prosecutor general Janusz Kaczmarek was detained Thursday morning by the Poland Internal Security Agency (ABW), his lawyer confirmed.

Poland's sacked interior minister detained

Poland's recently sacked interior minister and former prosecutor general Janusz Kaczmarek was detained Thursday morning by the Poland Internal Security Agency (ABW), his lawyer confirmed.

He is alleged to have interfered in an unspecified criminal investigation. Kaczmarek was detained at 7 am Thursday at the Warsaw home of renowned Polish documentary film-maker Sylwester Latkowski.

Poland's recently sacked police commander Konrad Kornatowski was also detained by ABW agents, Poland's TVN24 news channel reported.



Kaczmarek is believed to have recently informed a special Polish parliamentary committee about allegations that the right-wing government of Law and Justice (PiS) Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski may have abused the secret service and Justice Ministry in attempts to compromise political rivals.

Kaczmarek's testimony was confidential and was not made public.

After hearing it, Roman Giertych, former Polish deputy prime minister and education minister in Kaczynski's cabinet accused him of using the secret services to eavesdrop on coalition partners.

"We have a Polish Watergate," Giertych said, referring to the 1970s political scandal in the United States where Republican president Richard Nixon was suspected of covering up spying on political rivals. The allegations ultimately led to Nixon's resignation.

"Wiretapping colleagues, using these wiretaps for political goals, in my opinion trying to arrange the detention or arrest of government colleagues - this is not the kind of activity which can be included in the canon of any code of conduct, aside from the gangsters' code," Roman Giertych, leader of the right-wing League of Polish Families (LPR) opposition party, told reporters in Warsaw.

Opposition parties are calling for special parliamentary commissions to be set up to investigate allegations that Premier Kaczynski used the secret services, the Justice Ministry and the Anti-Corruption Bureau to try to compromise political rivals.

Kaczynski has denied any wrongdoing, but clearly does not want to see parliament probe the damaging allegations.

Despite his PiS trailing the opposition liberal Civic Platform (PO) in recent opinion polls, Kaczynski is pushing for the dissolution of parliament and a fresh election as early as October 21.

The whirlwind of controversy comes as legislators are preparing to vote September 7 on a motion to dissolve parliament which, if successful, will spark a snap election.

Should the motion fail to pass, Kaczynski has vowed to tender his government's resignation.

Under the constitution, the prime minister's identical twin brother President Lech Kaczynski will then have three attempts at creating a viable government before being required to call a fresh election.

Poland's next regularly scheduled general election is due in the autumn of 2009.

DPA

Last Mod: 30 Ağustos 2007, 14:05
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