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.

 


Morocco, Spain to hold talks about overlapping territorial waters

Updated 25 January 2020

Morocco, Spain to hold talks about overlapping territorial waters

  • The territorial waters Morocco has claimed include the coast off Western Sahar
  • The territory has been contested between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front since the Spanish colonial period ended in 1975

RABAT: The Moroccan and Spanish foreign ministers said on Friday their countries would hold talks about overlapping areas of ocean that they both claim rights to in the North Atlantic.
The territorial waters Morocco has claimed include the coast off Western Sahara, a territory that has been contested between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front since the Spanish colonial period ended in 1975.
Morocco’s parliament passed two bills this week to give domestic legal cover to a coastal area the North African country already controls, causing concern in Spain’s Canary Islands, where the government warned of overlaps with Spanish territorial waters.
Morocco’s foreign minister Nasser Bourita said that defining territorial waters was a “sovereign right” and that his country aimed to upgrade domestic law in compliance with the UN law of the sea convention.
“In case of overlaps, international law requires states to negotiate,” said Bourita following talks with his Spanish peer, Arancha Gonzalez Laya.
“Morocco rejects unilateral acts and fait accompli,” he said, adding that Spain was a “strategic partner” and Morocco’s largest trading partner.
Gonzalez Laya said Morocco’s willingness to negotiate “reassures the Canary Islands.”
“Morocco is a source of stability for Spain,” she said, citing “close cooperation” in the fight against jihadists and illegal migration.