Warsaw court requests testimony from Thatcher and Gorbachev

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Margaret Thatcher in 1983.
Mikhail Gorbachev in 1985.

A Warsaw court threw out an indictment against nine persons accused of illegally imposing martial law in communist Poland in December 1981. In handing the case back to National Remembrance Institute (IPN) prosecutors it pointed out "significant shortcomings" in the underlying investigation and requesting testimony from several world leaders from that time, including British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and later Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.

The court also ordered the IPN to obtain documentation from various foreign archives, including Russian ones. It said the information presented in the indictment was incomplete, outdated and self-contradictory.

General Wojciech Jaruzelski, who headed the Polish government during martial law and who originally asked for testimony by world leaders to be included in the trial, declined to comment.