Communication from the spokesman of the Minister – Special Services Coordinator

Pursuant to the Act of 29 April 2016 amending the Act on the Institute of National Remembrance – Commission for the Prosecution of Crimes against the Polish Nation and certain other acts, the heads of the Internal Security Agency (ABW) and the Intelligence Agency (AW) reviewed the materials from a separate collection of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN).

The ABW and the AW, in consultation with the Minister – Special Services Coordinator, filed requests to the President of the IPN for making classified some documents at the disposal of the IPN. None of the document covered by the requests of the heads of civil services concerns the operations of the services and their collaborators targeted at anti-Communist opposition. When requesting to make the documents classified, the Minister - Coordinator and the heads of agencies were guided by a sense of responsibility for the security of the Polish state.

The overwhelming majority of requests submitted to the President of the IPN by the Head of the Intelligence Agency concern the activities of technological intelligence of the special services of the Polish People’s Republic. Since disclosure of these documents could make the State Treasury subject to liability for activities of the Communist services, the Intelligence Agency requests for keeping the documents classified. The Minister-Coordinator is of the opinion that the Polish state cannot incur financial consequences of illegal activities of the Communist special services.

The requests submitted to the IPN by the ABW in the majority of cases concern the issues related to codes, communication systems and decoding used by the services, to legalisation and secret meeting places used by the Security Service, and then also by the Office for the Protection of the State or the Internal Security Agency. Their disclosure could have serious consequences for state security. In the case of secret meeting places, the Head of the ABW requested the President of the IPN to maintain classified only those documents that allow to identify the location of those places. The materials concerning their usage will be disclosed.

Some documents in the classified collection concern the activities of the services related to infiltration of diplomatic representations. In this case, the heads of the ABW and the AW request to make classified the documents which may compromise the security of diplomatic representations. In line with the requests of the heads of civil services, personal data of officers from special services of Western countries, identified by the services of the Polish People’s Republic, should also remain classified.

The heads of the AW and the ABW request to maintain classified the information on secret collaborators and operational contacts of the Communist services who continued their collaboration after 1990, if it was not directed against the anti-Communist opposition and independence aspirations of Poles. Secret collaborators and operational contacts whose data should remain classified do not include persons who performed or perform public functions.

The heads of the Intelligence Agency and the Internal Security Agency also requested to maintain classified the data of secret collaborators from foreign countries who cooperated with the services also after 1990 and the disclosure of such data could be damaging for the state or could expose these collaborators to danger. This concerns primarily the collaborators of Polish services from Arab countries. Disclosure of such information could have unforeseeable consequences for these collaborators. A necessary condition to keep the collaborators’ data classified was that their activities were not directed against independence aspirations of Poles or against the Polish diaspora. The Heads of the AW and the ABW submitted to the President of the IPN the requests for keeping classified the documents concerning in total approx. 70 agents of the services.

It should be emphasized that when conducting work concerning the classified collection of data, the Minister-Coordinator and the Heads of the AW and the ABW were guided by the need to ensure the greatest possible openness of the documentation from the separate collection of the IPN. Only the materials which if disclosed could pose a threat to the state will remain classified. The requests submitted by the Heads the AW and the ABW concern only a very slight part of the IPN’s separate collection.

As regards reports on the deadlines of work on the classified collection, I declare that the civil special services did not exceed any statutory deadlines. The work on the classified collection was complex and its main purpose was to identify, to the fullest possible extent, but also safely, the materials that may be disclosed. The Heads of the AW and the ABW often requested to keep classified not the entire archive units, but only single documents. The work on the classified collection proceeded without unnecessary delays.

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