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EURASIA > Ex-Stalinist torturer gets three years prison in Poland

WARSAW - Agence France-Presse

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In this 1922 photo, Vladimir Lenin, left, sits in a park with Joseph V. Stalin. AP photo

In this 1922 photo, Vladimir Lenin, left, sits in a park with Joseph V. Stalin. AP photo

A Warsaw court sentenced an 86-year-old former officer with the Polish communist-era secret police Wednesday to three years in prison for torturing communist dissidents under the Stalinist regime.
 
The district court rejected an appeal from the defendant, who pleaded not guilty and was identified only as Jerzy K., but reduced his original four-year sentence to three years.
 
In January, he was convicted of abusing political prisoners during questioning, including beating them with metal rods and burning their hair.
 
"At least send him to jail for some time," victim Waclaw Sikorski, also 86, said, quoted by the Polish press agency PAP.
 
"I spent eight years in prison for nothing," added the former soldier with the Polish anti-Communist resistance, who at the time was sentenced to death -- later commuted to life imprisonment -- for spying for the West.
 
Nazi and Stalinist-era crimes are not subject to statutes of limitations in Poland.
 
In February, the Warsaw district court sentenced an 89-year-old former secret police official to eight years in prison for shooting dead a resistance fighter.

June/27/2012

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