Ex-Communist Leader Keeps Silent on Killings
Poland’s last communist leader, Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, refused to answer questions at his trial over the fatal shooting of protesting shipyard workers in 1970.
Jaruzelski is accused of ordering soldiers to fire at workers protesting price increases in December 1970. At least 44 people were killed and more than 1,000 injured in the Baltic coast cities of Gdynia, Gdansk, Szczecin and Elblag.
Jaruzelski contends that prosecutors who prepared the indictment against him are biased and ignored key evidence. He says the case against him was motivated by political revenge.
“I refuse,” Jaruzelski, 78, repeated defiantly more than 50 times as questions were read in Warsaw District Court. Jaruzelski was defense minister at the time of the killings and served as Poland’s communist leader from 1981 to 1989.