Global Markets 11 July 2008
Poland begins publishing Communist-era secret police data
Brett Murphy at 8:02 AM ET
[JURIST] Poland's Institute of National Remembrance (INP) [official website] has begun officially publishing a list of public officials who worked with or were spied on by the country's Communist-era secret police as part of ongoing efforts to reconcile Poland's pre-1989 Communist heritage. Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski and President Lech Kaczynski [official websites] were both listed Tuesday as officials who had been placed under surveillance by the secret police. A special court called for the publication of the index [INP materials] in order to help the country comply with the so-called Lustration Law [RFE backgrounder; BI backgrounder on "lustration" generally] passed in October 2006 requiring over 700,000 Polish professionals - academics [IPN announcement], journalists, lawyers, diplomats and managers of state-owned companies - to file affidavits swearing they they never cooperated with the country's Communist-era secret police.
Poland's Constitutional Tribunal [official website] ruled in May that portions of the law were unconstitutional [JURIST report], but left in force provisions that authorized the disclosure of names of public officials who worked with the secret police. Before the ruling, the prime minister said [JURIST report] that judges could face charges if they acted improperly in ruling on the legality of the Lustration Law. Jaroslaw had called for judges on the court to go before a decommunization tribunal themselves before ruling on the law's constitutionality.|||Poland begins publishing Communist-era secret police data