Poland to try Jaruzelski, 82, for alleged communist crimes

Artykuły


Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"


Ian Traynor, central Europe correspondent
Saturday April 1, 2006
The Guardian
General Wojciech Jaruzelski, the former communist leader of Poland, is to stand trial for "communist crimes" 25 years after he tried to crush the Solidarity trade union, declared a "state of war" in Poland and jailed tens of thousands of people.
The 82-year-old former military officer, who headed the Polish communist party and served as defence minister, prime minister and president, has always argued that his decision to impose martial law on Poland in December 1981, 18 months after the rise of Solidarity sent tremors through the Soviet bloc, was the lesser of two evils - aimed at preventing the greater despair that could have followed a Red Army invasion of Poland.
Prosecutors filed charges against Gen Jaruzelski and several others yesterday, arguing that his crimes also violated Poland's communist constitution.
He could face 11 years in jail if found guilty. "We're expecting the trial to start quite soon," said an official at the institute. "It's a political issue, of course."
Poland is run by twin brothers, Lech and Jaroslaw Kaczynski, one the president, the other leader of the governing party, and both conservative anti-communists jailed under martial law. They came to power last year determined to purge the Polish establishment of communist elements and have long campaigned for a process of "decommunisation" parallel to the de-nazification of Germany after the war.
President Kaczynski was embarrassed this week when a list of Poles given medals for enduring Soviet exile included Gen Jaruzelski. The retired general thanked the president for the honour, then handed back the medal to spare his blushes.
Gen Jaruzelski has apologised for declaring martial law, as well as for his role, as military chief, in the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968. But he has always said he did what he thought was best at the time, only to learn later that his acts may have been "shameful".
The indictment filed yesterday charged Gen Jaruzelski with being the head of an "organised criminal group of a military nature, which aimed to perpetrate crimes that consisted of the deprivation of freedom through internment" and violating "workers' rights".
Gen Jaruzelski said yesterday that million of Poles supported his decision to impose martial law. He denounced the move to put him on trial as a "moral court".
"I am deeply convinced, more now than ever, that martial law was needed," he told Polish television.
The former Solidarity leader Lech Walesa said the indictment of Gen Jaruzelski was a "necessary" move towards settling Poland's accounts, but he voiced no pleasure in hearing of the charges. The former adversaries buried the hatchet last year in a joint television appearance.

adversary- adwersarz, oponent
apologise- przepraszać
argue- wskazywać, wykazywać
bury the hatchet- zakopać topór wojenny
charge- zarzut, oskarżenie
consist of- składać się z
convinced- przekonany
crush- miażdżyć, tłumić
defence minister- minister obrony
denounce- potępiać, demaskować, ujawniać
deprivation- pozbawienie
endure- cierpieć, wytrwać, przetrwać
exile- wygnanie, zesłanie
file- wnosić, przedstawiać
former- były, dawny
impose- narzucać, nakładać
indictment- oskarżenie, akt oskarżenia
internment- internowanie
martial law- stan wojenny
parallel- paralelny, równoległy
perpetrate- popełniać, dopuszczać się
prosecutor- oskarżyciel
purge (of)- przeprowadzać czystkę; oczyszczać
spare one’s blushes- nie wprawiać kogoś w zakłopotanie
trade union- związek zawodowy
tremor- drżenie, wstrząs


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