Court upholds verdict against martial law architect Kiszczak
PR dla Zagranicy
A Warsaw court has dismissed an appeal by former interior minister Czesław Kiszczak, who was given a two-year suspended sentence in 2012 as one of the architects of the 1981 imposition of martial law.
Czesław Kiszczak in February 2012. Photo: PAP/Tomasz Gzell
The Warsaw Appeal Court's decision is final for the now 89-year-old communist veteran.
Kiszczak was one of several defendants in the case, although principal litigant General Wojciech Jaruzelski (died May 2014) was excluded in 2011, on account of his failing health.
The original 2012 verdict held that Kiszczak was part of a “criminal group” that illegally imposed martial law in a bid to crush the Solidarity trade union.
Lawyers for the defence had argued that the crackdown had been launched so as to see off the threat of a Moscow-led invasion.
However, the court found that “there was no direct danger of an armed intervention from the Warsaw Pact armies.”
Several thousand people were arrested and imprisoned following the declaration of martial law on 13 December 1981. The crackdown lasted until 22 July 1983, with up to 100 fatalities, among them a group of nine striking miners at the Wujek Coal Mine in Katowice, Silesia, on 16 December 1981. (nh)