Prosecutor Demands Stiff Prison Terms for Three Activists
GDANSK, Poland (AP) _ A state prosecutor accused three Solidarity trade union organizers of ″serving hostile Western powers″ on Tuesday, and demanded they be given stiff prison sentences, courtroom witnesses said.
The prosecutor, Marian Muszynski, asked for a five-year prison term for Wladyslaw Frasyniuk, and sentences of four years each for Adam Michnik and Bogdan Lis, said the observers.
The defendants are accused of inciting public unrest by calling for a 15- minute strike to protest food-price increases. The proposed strike was later canceled.
Western reporters are not admitted to the trial. Courtroom witnesses and defense lawyers have been briefing them following the session.
Solidarity leader Lech Walesa criticized the prosecutor’s demands as a threat to labor freedom and efforts to liberalize Poland’s communist system.
″I appeal to the entire society, to all people of good will, not to allow the authorities’ actions to lead Poland into a road of hatred and terror,″ Walesa said in a statement.
″The peaceful form of struggle for reform of the state and for trade union freedoms is threatened today.″
In his summation to the Gdansk provincial court, the prosecutor said the defendants were guilty of conducting ″anti-state activities paid for by foreign superiors ... and anti-Polish centers abroad,″ according to observers present in the courtroom, who asked not to be identified.
The prosecutor did not identify the foreign centers he claimed supported the defendants’ activities, the observers said.
The prosecutor said evidence proved the defendants incited public unrest by calling for a 15-minute strike on Feb. 28 to protest government plans to raise food prices, and of playing a leading role in Solidarity, ordered dissolved in 1982.
The defendants could receive maximum prison terms of 71/2 years each if convicted.
Solidarity, the first free trade union movement in the Soviet bloc, was founded in August 1980, suspended following the imposition of martial law in December 1981 and outlawed in October 1982.
The defendants were arrested in February during a police raid on a secret Gdansk meeting chaired by Solidarity leader Lech Walesa. Walesa was set free, but is under investigation for the same charges.
At the start of Tuesday’s session, Zieniuk rejected a defense motion that he remove himself and his two subordinate judges from the case, legal sources said. The lawyers complained Zieniuk had made it impossible for the three defendants to exert their right to a defense.
Muszynski said he demanded a stiffer prison sentence for Frasyniuk because he was convicted previously for anti-state activity. Frasyniuk was arrested in 1982 and sentenced to prison for his participation in the Solidarity underground temporary coordinating commission.
All three activists were freed from prison last July under an amnesty for political prisoners. Lis and Michnik were never brought to trial.
The prosecutor described Michnik, 38, as a ″Boy Scout in Bermuda shorts″ and said he led the two other defendants. Michnik is a leading dissident intellectual and prominent adviser to Solidarity.
Lis, 32, who was not present in the courtroom Tuesday because of a stomach ailment, was an underground Solidarity leader in Gdansk. Frasyniuk, 30, was a union activist from Wroclaw, a city in southwestern Poland.
After the prosecutor’s summation, the trial was adjourned until Wednesday.