Poland: The Show Trial That Fizzled

The Show Trial That Fizzled

Inside the Gdansk courtroom, the judge began trial proceedings last week with a few routine questions. He asked the defendant's profession (electromechanic); his salary ($85 a month); and if he had any decorations. He did, including the Nobel Prize for Peace, and he had once been the leader of the banned Solidarity trade union. The defendant, Lech Walesa, was in court to answer charges that he had slandered members of several regional electoral commissions. His alleged crime: issuing estimates of voter turnout in Poland's parliamentary balloting last October that were lower than government figures.

Presumably, the regime of General Wojciech Jaruzelski...

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