17:57 GMT08 August 2020
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    Mateusz Piskorski, the leader of the Zmiana (Change) party was arrested by officers from Poland’s Interior Defense Agency (ABW) after they raided his Warsaw home, seizing computers and documents. The homes of several other party members were also searched.

    Piskorski, known for his pro-Russian views, was charged with spying for “third countries” as pro-government media accused him of working for Russian and Chinese intelligence services.

    Radio Sputnik discussed the situation with Zmiana party’s press secretary Tomasz Jankowski.

    “The Interior Defense Agency has detained Mateusz Piskorski and searched the apartments of several leading party members, including those of Konrad Rękas and my own. Right now they are questioning the party’s deputy chairman Nabil Malazii,” Tomasz Jankowski said.
    He described the search at the party headquarters as illegal.

    “They took out documents belonging to party members, PA systems and even party flags. They also confiscated all declarations of members of the Zmiana-Workers’ Unity trade union we collaborate with. This is a direct threat to the union  members whose names are not supposed to be  known to their employers. As a result, we are expecting very harsh reprisals now,” Tomasz added.

    Polish trade unions are not required by law to make their membership lists available to employers.

    When asked whether he expected  any official clarifications from ABW during a press-conference, he said that the agency would hardly provide any, citing the ongoing investigation.

    “We have absolutely nothing to hide and we are going to speak freely about what is going on. They will not manage to shut us up, we are ready to fight,” he emphasized.

    Piskorski’s arrest followed his warning that the Polish government was “cleaning” the political space of the country of unwanted elements in the run-up to a NATO summit to be held in Warsaw on July 8 and 9.

    “Our party is the only one coming out against the deployment of US troops in Poland. We also planned to publish a book about the death of Andrzej Lepper which they feared could create an angry outcry because we believe that the authorities have definitely had a hand in his death. As a former member of Samoobrona RP (Self-Defense of the Republic of Poland) party and a close ally of Lepper’s, Mateusz Piskorski has a lot to say about this,” Tomasz Jankowski noted.

    When asked if the party was going to protest to the authorities over the ABW’s action, Tomasz said that it would surely do so.

    “It was an illegal act by the ABW. Here was no one of us present during the search. They broke inside and stole the documents. They had no right to do that. We will also hold public rallies in support of Mateusz Piskorski. Party and union members are all set to defend us. Small wonder – Poland just got its first political prisoner!” Tomasz Jankowski said in conclusion.

    Andrzej Lepper was a candidate in the Polish presidential election in 1995, 2000, 2005 and 2010.

    He was found dead in his Warsaw office on August 5, 2011. Police said that he likely committed suicide. However, many people think that it was a political murder.

    Meanwhile, special services coordinator Mariusz Kaminski confirmed that the arrest of Mateusz Piskorski was a matter of national security.

    “This is a very serious case and it has to do with this country’s national security,” Kaminski said in an interview with RMF FM radio station in Krakow.

    He added that Piskorsi had indeed been arrested by national security agents on charges of espionage.


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    espionage charges, searches, opposition party, leader, arrest, Workers' Unity trade union, Interior Defense Agency, Zmiana Party, Mariusz Kaminski, Nabil Malazii, Tomasz Jankowski, Mateusz Piskorski, Poland
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