Europe

Walesa rejects evidence suggesting he collaborated

Lech Walesa, Poland's former president and leader of its pro-democracy struggle, has rejected evidence recently presented by state experts who claim he was a communist-era paid informer.

Walesa said Tuesday he never collaborated, not even under pressure from authorities, and appealed to journalists to gather and publish proof that he was persecuted and fired from jobs by the authorities in the 1970s for his anti-communist activity.

"I swear to you now that I never pledged allegiance to the other side," Walesa said.

Last week, a state historical institute published findings from handwriting analyses, saying they proved earlier allegations that Walesa, a shipyard electrician, reported on his fellow workers to the communist secret police for money in the 1970s.

Walesa won the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize for leading Solidarity, the peaceful pro-democracy movement.