Published: May 3, 2015
Recently WikiLeaks published American cables regarding Komorowski’s ties to WSI (Polish KGB). Amongst the correspondences, there is a reference to Janusz Paluch’s shadow banking activities and hedge fund, an affair covered earlier by Gazeta Polska, which surfaced earlier in the report on verification of the WSI.
As part of the “Global Intelligence Files” published by Wikileaks, the WSI (Military Information Services) is described in the cables as a type of “Polish KGB” as questions in the cables are raised as to what kind of interests Komorowski would have in defending the WSI and preventing its shutdown and dissolution. One theory suggested that the WSI was in the possession of sensitive information or incriminating evidence on current President Komorowski. The service could have used such information as leverage.
Some of the evidence against Komorowski might have included funds that Komorowski deposidted with Janusz Paluch taking advantage of his shadow banking activities and hedge fund. Actor Maciej Rayzacher who served as the executive director of the cultural and educational department at the Ministry of Defence between 1991-1993 was also reported to commit similar actions. During that time, Komorowski served as Deputy Ministrer of Defense for social and educational affairs. These revelations were reported by Gazeta Polska after the report on WSI verification was published.
The report revealed that ““The WSI looked into Komorowski’s and Rayzacher’s financial contacts with Janusz Paluch who engaged in various shadow banking activities. Komorowski, Rayzacher, and Benedyk were to invest 260,000 German DEM. (…) The WSI memo stated that both Rayzacher and Komorowski would have no possibility of recovering their money through any legal action or by the power of the courts. A secret informant and collaborator codenamed “Tomaszewski” revealed that “the generals at the WSI succeeded in recovering the money with the help of the military’s counter intelligence service.” Agent “Tomaszewski” handled this operation on behalf of Komorowski and Rayzacher, according to the report.
In 2007 in the Gazeta Wyborcza, Komorowski explained what had happened as follows: “My name was irresponsibly flaunted around in what appeared to be a blame game of ‘who exactly robbed whom, all because of some illegal activities that have little to do with me and more to do with Janusz Paluch. I was in fact the victim of this robbery as it was my family’s money that I borrowed and entrusted to Rayzacher and that he later invested in some sort of Ponzi scheme. This had absolutely nothing to do with the WSI other than the fact that it was the WSI that took it upon themselves to investigate and follow up on the issue since some of their own officers lost their own money that very same way.”
Gazeta Polska got a hold of the investigative files regarding Janusz Paluch. He was a traffic controller for Polish State Railways with a secondary school education. In the early 1990’s, he was the owner of a company called Nedpol. In Bydgoszcz for example, there were taxi cabs carrying his company’s logo. The city’s football club stadium was sponsored by Paluch and dressed in the company’s banners. He appeared in newspaper articles and radio interviews. By 1992, it became apparent in Bydgoszcz that he was involved in illegal banking activities and soon the entire country caught wind of his exploits in which hundreds of individuals lost their money. Over 9 million DEM was siphoned off by Paluch and around 800 of Nedpol’s employees complained to the authorities. Paluch went into hiding but fell into the hands of the police in April 1992.
On the eve of the scandal, one of the vice presidents of Nedpol, Adam G. was found dead in his home. Ultimately the authorities concluded that he committed suicide, however, four suspects were named, none of whom were Janusz Paluch. The media put all their efforts in finding out as much as possible about Janusz Paluch exclusively, uncovering files pertaining to other individuals associated with him along the way. They failed however to consider that vice president of Nedpol, a parent company for the infamous parabank, happened to be Hieronim I., a former soldier in the northern Pomerania Military District who took part in UN missions to Syria under Communist Poland.
During the prosecution hearings a month after his arrest on May 19 1992, Paluch stated that: “Aside from generals from Pomerania such as Zalewski, Dysarz, I. [Hieronim I.] I was told that Deputy Minister Komorowski had joined the off-the-grid bank.”
According to the prosecution records, clients of the “bank” tended to be high ranking military personnel like the aforementioned Roman Dysarz, president of the Agricultural Machinery Institute of Poland POM, Zdzisław Czerwiński, member of the Sports and Physical Education Committee of the Ministry of Defence or Lechosław Konieczyński, Ministry’s consultant, and Lechosław Konieczyński. The lead prosecutor never interrogated Bronisław Komorowski nor anyone else mentioned in the prosecution files and who were to invest money in Paluch’s bank. Eventually, Paluch was sentenced in 2009 to three years in prison and fined 5,000 PLN. The Information concerning those WSI agents who were able to recover the lost funds of some individuals was never revealed.
In February 2012, WikiLeaks began to publish about 5 million e-mails and cables that made up The Global Intelligence Files, materials that were leaked from a private intelligence agency called Stratfor known as “the shadow of the CIA.” An archived discussion between analysts Marco Papic, Michael Wilson, and Lauren Goodrich reveals an abundant amount of information pertaining to the WSI, its critiques and degree of influence it held over the entire Polish political landscape. The most informative of the files is “Insight – Poland – Komorowski’s Connection to Military Intelligence.”
Within the context of the very much illuminating WikiLeaks cables it has become ever more clear as to where Komorowski has stood on the issue and why, as he once publicly stated in a radio interview with Monika Olejnik: “the dissolution of the WSI was de facto a crime and disgraceful act. I, as the only members of the Civic Platform, had the audacity to stand up against it.”
Written by: Dorota Kania and Maciej Marosz
Source: Gazeta Polska, April 8, 2015, p.18
Translation: Daniel Lanzarjewicz