Jozef Oleksy, a Polish communist party leader and democracy-era prime minister, dies at 68

An official says that Jozef Oleksy, a communist-era party leader who in the democratic era served as a left-wing prime minister until he was forced to resign over accusations of spying for Russia, has died. He was 68.

An official at Oleksy's Democratic Left Alliance, Krzysztof Gawkowski said Oleksy died Friday. He was being treated in a Warsaw cancer hospital.

Raised as a Catholic, Oleksy was a prominent communist party leader. He took part in the 1989 Round Table talks with Solidarity that peacefully ended communist rule. He co-founded a now-defunct party and was prime minister from 1995-96. He resigned amid unconfirmed accusations of spying for Russia. In 2004 he returned to political office as interior minister.

Politicians Friday praised him a leader who was friendly and open to dialogue.