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Polish Solidarity hero is an alleged corruption suspect

Associated Press Associated Press 29/11/2016

WARSAW, Poland — Prosecutors in Poland said Tuesday that a former senator and 10 other people have been detained and questioned over allegations of corruption.

Polish media said the former senator is Jozef Pinior, identified by prosecutors only as Jozef P.

Pinior, a senator from southern Poland from 2011-2015, is a famous activist from the Solidarity freedom movement. In a daring 1981 action, he saved the movement's 80 million zlotys ($19 million) from being seized by communist authorities.

A Polish action movie, "80 million," was made in 2011 based on these events, in which another famous Solidarity figure, Wladyslaw Frasyniuk, also took part.

Prosecutor Piotr Baczynski said the former senator is suspected of accepting two bribes totaling 46,000 zlotys ($11,000) last year from local businessmen who were among those detained. He refused to say whether the former senator admitted to the allegations.

Gazeta Wroclawska daily newspaper quoted Pinior's wife as saying that officers of the state anti-corruption office "woke us up at 6 a.m.," looked through some papers and took Pinior's computer.

Frasyniuk said on private TVN24 he knows Pinior to be a modest man who never sought any advantages for himself.

Poland's conservative government is fighting corruption but critics say it is aiming chiefly at political opponents.

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