Former member of the Civic Police (MO), the communist-era police, who was detained in Croatia in May, has been charged with opening fire on the miners from the “Wujek” mine in December 1981, in which nine died.
The allegations of “committing communist crimes, hence being crimes against humanity” were made by the investigators from the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN).
The former MO officer faces up to ten years behind bars. While investigated in June, he pleaded not guilty and refused to testify.
Roman S. (name withheld under the Polish privacy law) was allegedly a member of a special platoon of MO, which on December 16, 1981, entered the “Wujek” mine complex, where miners were protesting against the martial law, introduced three days earlier. MO opened fire on the protesters. A total of nine miners were killed while 21 were wounded.
The suspect was detained on May 17 in Croatia, the authorities in Zagreb agreed to hand him over to Poland. It was revealed that Mr S. forfeited his Polish citizenship and became a citizen of Germany.
The killing of the miners is generally considered one of the greatest tragedies to have occurred during the 18 months of martial law in Poland.