by Wojciech Waligorski MURDER can not be excluded as the possible cause of death of two Polish priests Fr Stefan Niedzielak and Fr Sylwester Zych, prosecutors in charge of an investigation into their deaths said recently. Both priests were for years outspoken critics of communist regime. The mysterious circumstances of their deaths caused concern and suspicions that they both could have been victims of the secret police.
Fr Niedzielak was found died in his Warsaw flat in January 1988, Fr Zych on a bus-stop bench in Baltic resort of Krynica Morska in July 1988. In the latter case the official version said that he had been found dead, and witnesses were provided who claimed to have seen him drinking late into the night of his death in a bar in the company of another man. Public opinion, however, never trusted official explanations given by the communist government in 1988.
Recent statements by the prosecutors Maciej Bialek and Worciech Mazurek mark a change in their attitude caused, observers feel, by wide-spread accusations of incompetence and lack of resolve. Both applied in the press for members of the public to submit new evidence which could help to solve the crimes. A telephone number was given for the potential informants.
A Special Parliamentary Commission investigating the activities of the Ministry of Interior (MSW) demanded recently an explanation of the mass shredding of the ministry's documents makes an investigation almost impossible of a impossible an investigation of a list of possible MSW victims in the 1980s, on which both priests figure, the sceptics say.