Former Polish intelligence chief detained
PR dla Zagranicy
A former head of Poland’s Military Counterintelligence Service (SKW) was detained on Wednesday, military police said.
Piotr Pytel, pictured on October 26. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz said: "An investigation is being conducted into General [Piotr] Pytel. He is being charged in connection with illegal cooperation with the FSB,” Russia’s Federal Security Service.
But a lawyer for Pytel said the former Polish intelligence chief was being charged over contacts with FSB officers and not with cooperating with the Russian security service.
The FSB is Russia’s principal security agency and the main successor agency to the KGB.
Relations between Moscow and Warsaw are tense while Russian intelligence services are widely seen in Poland as hostile to this country.
After emerging from a prosecutor's office, Pytel said he had refused to testify. He told reporters that the case against him was politically motivated.
Poland’s Gazeta Polska Codziennie daily reported last year that Poland’s Military Counterintelligence Service and the FSB struck a deal in April 2010, just after the crash of the Polish presidential plane in western Russia, on cooperation regarding threats faced by either of the sides.
Gazeta Polska Codziennie reported that former SKW head General Janusz Nosek and Pytel, his successor, had been accused of overstepping their powers.
European Council head Donald Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, in April appeared before prosecutors in Warsaw as a witness in a probe into suspected collaboration between Russian and Polish intelligence services.
Nosek said on Wednesday that all allegations against him were "untrue" and politically-motivated.