A NEW inquiry into the mysterious death of a Polish priest was launched by state investigators in Warsaw this week.
The death of Fr Sylwester Zych three years ago was attributed at the time to excessive drinking. Fr Zych was jailed by the communists in 1982 for six years fos allegedly harbouring a man suspected of shooting a police sergeant.
The priest was found dead at a bus-stop in the Baltic Sea resort of Kyrnica Morska in July 1989, during the death throes of the communist regime. An official autopsy report dismissed reports that alcohol had been forced into Fr Zych's body. But evidence which later came to light cast doubt on the autopsy findings and confirmed suspicions that Fr Zych had been badly bruised when he died.
Polish state prosecutors have now ordered fresh forensic tests to be carried out. Witnesses who gave evidence at the original hearing are also to be examined again.
Fr Zych was the third Polish priest to die in suspicious circumstances in 1989.
The trial of two senior interior ministry officials charged with the murder of the pro-Solidarity priest Fr Jerzy Popieluszko in 1984 is due to begin in Warsaw in June. As many as 53 witnesses are expected to be asked to testify.