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Investigation opened into general's death

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 18.06.2012 14:32
An investigation has been opened into the death of former special services leader Brigadier General Slawomir Petelecki, who was found on Saturday having sustained a gunshot wound to the head.
Brigadegeneral Slawomir Petelicki ist am Samstag infolge einer Schussverletzung im Kopfbereich ums Leben gekommen. Foto: PAP/Jacek TurczykBrigadegeneral Slawomir Petelicki ist am Samstag infolge einer Schussverletzung im Kopfbereich ums Leben gekommen. Foto: PAP/Jacek Turczyk

Police at the scene of Petelicki's death in Warsaw's Mokotów district, Saturday, 16.06.2012. Photo: PAP/Jacek Turczyk

Speaking to journalists on Monday morning, Dariusz Slepokura, spokesman for the Warsaw District Prosecutor's office, clarified that the death is being investigated under article 151 of the criminal code, which is invariably taken up for cases of suicide.

However, Slepokura noted that this category could be changed should “new circumstances” come to light.

He added that the preliminary examination showed no other injuries beside the single gunshot wound to the head, but that a full autopsy will now be held.

Petelecki, who created the elite GROM special services formation following the collapse of the Iron Curtain, was found dead by his wife on Saturday evening in a garage within their Warsaw apartment building.

A gun was discovered at the scene.

Poland's Defence Minister Tomas Siemoniak has issued a statement paying tribute to the former special services luminary.

“We have lost an outstanding officer who through his achievements became a role model for younger colleagues,” Minister Siemoniak expressed.

Meanwhile, chairman of the association of former GROM members Krzysztof Przepiorka praised his former leader in an interview with Polish Radio.

“GROM is strong thanks to its first commander,” Przepiorka said, describing the formation as a “national treasure.”

Former prime minister Leszek Miller told Polish Radio on Monday that “it is rare that such people commit suicide.”

However, he speculated that “perhaps the general had been influenced by some desperate circumstances that we do not know about.

“Everyone has limits that when crossed, can lead to such a dramatic decision.”

Miller theorised that the case should be “easy to determine as there is a lot of evidence,” citing the gun, the gun-shot and surveillance recordings.

With regard to the latter point, commercial television station TVN24 established earlier today that surveillance cameras were operating in the building where Petelicki died. (nh)

tags: GROM, petelicki
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