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Plot to Assassinate Walesa Thwarted, Poland Claims

United Press International

The government today revealed an alleged plot to assassinate Solidarity founder Lech Walesa, and a key official suspected of plotting the murder of a pro-Solidarity priest was removed from the ruling Politburo.

Government spokesman Jerzy Urban told reporters that police have arrested Jozef Szczepanski, a convicted murderer, and charged him with maintaining contact with an underground organization and agreeing to kill Walesa.

But, in a letter to the state prosecutor in the northern seaport of Gdansk, Walesa’s lawyer, Jacek Taylor, said Szczepanski was a Solidarity supporter and revealed the murder plot to Walesa.

Convicted in Killing

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Szczepanski was convicted of the unintentional killing of a police officer in 1981 and sentenced to 11 years in prison. Szczepanski told Walesa he could have had his sentence reduced if he killed Walesa and, when arrested, testified that the United States had ordered the killing, Taylor said.

The letter said Szczepanski was approached and asked to carry out the murder while he was on parole.

Szczepanski said in a statement that the killing was scheduled for a railway station in the town of Stara Jani in northern Poland and that it was planned that he would be caught and arrested.

“I was supposed to testify that a man from the American Embassy was the instigator of the killing,” he said.

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Solidarity sources said Szczepanski was promised U.S. dollars and an American handgun to carry out the killing.

‘I Hate Communism’

“The people that wanted to use me did not know that I hate communism and support Solidarity,” Szczepanski said.

In another development, the Communist Party Central Committee accepted the resignation of Miroslaw Milewski, 57, from the ruling Politburo, the official PAP news agency said.

Until last October, Milewski was the party official in charge of state security.

No reason was given for the resignation, but independent sources suggested it was forced and linked it to the assassination of the Rev. Jerzy Popielszko, a pro-Solidarity priest kidnaped by three secret police agents and killed last October. Four government security agents were arrested for the slaying.

Following the Popielszko murder, Premier Wojciech Jaruzelski took personal control of the Interior Ministry, which oversees the security police.

Milewski has not appeared in public since and government sources said he has been under house arrest for some time.

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