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Polish court: Lech Wałęsa must apologize to historian who revealed Wałęsa worked for communist intelligence services

Wałęsa lost the case, but the Warsaw district court rejected historian Sławomir Cenckiewicz’s motion that former president of Poland should pay a fine as a compensation

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Życie Stolicy

Historian Sławomir Cenckiewicz announced that the Warsaw district court had ordered former president of Poland and “Solidarity” legend Lech Wałęsa to officially apologize to him for spreading false and defamatory information.

Cenckiewicz, who is the director of the Military Historical Bureau, is not satisfied with part of the verdict, however, and is considering an appeal.

He posted on Friday on Twitter that he had won the protection of personal rights lawsuit against Wałęsa which started two years ago. He demanded that Wałęsa stop spreading misinformation that Cenckiewicz had allegedly forged documents concerning Wałęsa’s secret cooperation with communist authorities under the codename “Bolek”.

Wałęsa, who continues to disavow his cooperation with communist services, made such accusations against the historian several times on social media.

On Saturday Cenckiewicz released an official statement concerning the lawsuit’s conclusion:

“On September 24, 2021, the District Court in Warsaw issued a judgment in the case on the protection of personal rights, which I brought against Lech Wałęsa two years ago,” he wrote.

He explained that Wałęsa was ordered by the court to stop publishing information that Cenckiewicz had forged documents regarding his cooperation with communist services (SB). Secondly, the court obliged Wałęsa to publish an official apology to Cenckiewicz.

Thirdly, the court decreed that the apology must remain visible on Wałęsa’s social media accounts for an entire month and is to have the former president’s handwritten signature.

Finally, the court demanded that Wałęsa must emphasize in the apology that it was being published as a result of a lawsuit that he had lost.


In his statement after the court verdict, Sławomir Cenckiewicz reminded, that during the trial Wałęsa had threatened him by claiming that the historian “would be hanged”. (Picture source: TT/S. Cenckiewicz)

Cenckiewicz underlined that Wałęsa’s accusations against him were “absurd” and pointed out that the court had verbally declared that during the trial, Wałęsa had not presented a single piece of evidence which would have confirmed his accusations.

Nevertheless, the historian is dissatisfied with the fact that the court refused his motion for Wałęsa to be obliged to pay a € 6,500 fine to the foundation chosen by Cenckiewicz.

The historian said that the court had decreed that “Wałęsa’s guilt was partially justified with his outrage at his achievements being diminished.”

He believes that Wałęsa’s actions (which had been ongoing for years) against his person were not justified in the slightest. Cenckiewicz noted that during the trial, Wałęsa had even threatened him by claiming that the historian “would be hanged.”

He pointed out that since the court obliged Wałęsa to include that he had lost a lawsuit, then the former president should also be forced to pay for the entire trial.

Journalist Sławomir Jastrzębowski commented on the lawsuit’s result on “Polish Radio”. He pointed out that Polish courts release very benign verdicts against Lech Wałęsa and very harsh ones against people who are opposed to him.

“It is very shameful that Polish courts are currently a political party,” said Jastrzębowski.

The case of Wałęsa’s past cooperation with communist services has been the subject of public debate for decades. Wałęsa has always denied any involvement with communist secret services. He has undertaken several legal steps in this matter.

But the Institute for National Remembrance and many other historians dealing with the subject of Solidarity, which is the trade union credited with helping end communism in Poland, believe that Wałęsa’s cooperation with communist services in the early 1970s was indisputable.