Former Polish President Lech Wałęsa is set to face trial in Poland over allegations of providing false testimony denying his signing of documents linked to purported collaboration with

communist authorities. If convicted, the 80-year-old, renowned for leading the Solidarity movement that toppled the communist regime, could face a maximum of three years in prison.

Despite Wałęsa's prominent anti-communist stance, accusations of his prior cooperation with security services have persisted, particularly from conservative circles associated with Poland's ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party. Wałęsa vehemently denies these claims, often asserting that any documents suggesting collaboration are falsified.

Two years ago, amid PiS's tenure, prosecutors under Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro charged Wałęsa for allegedly making false statements during testimony denying his signature on documents indicating cooperation with security services. Authorities recently announced the indictment, signaling Wałęsa's impending trial.

The case originated from Wałęsa's statements during a 2016 investigation by the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), triggered by discoveries of documents, bearing his signature, in the home archives of former communist interior minister Czesław Kiszczak.

The documents, including an agreement to collaborate using the alias "Bolek," along with payslips and informant notes, seemingly contradicted Wałęsa's initial claim of forgery when they surfaced. During the IPN investigation, Wałęsa admitted potential ownership of a document bearing his handwriting but refuted signing over fifty others presented to him.

Prosecutors revealed that forensic handwriting analysis and document comparison between confirmed Wałęsa signatures and those in the file indicated falsification only in the case of the former president's denial.

Wałęsa reacted to the indictment on Facebook, denouncing the accusations as "monstrous lies" requiring a comprehensive rebuttal. In an interview with news outlet Wirtualna Polska, he expressed skepticism about appearing at trial, citing doubts about the judiciary's impartiality following PiS's judiciary reforms.

Notably, earlier this week, Wałęsa secured a victory against Poland at the European Court of Human Rights, which deemed PiS's judicial reforms as infringing on his rights in a separate case regarding alleged collaboration with communist authorities. Photo by Piotr Drabik from Poland, Wikimedia commons.