Poland summons Swedish ambassador over extradition of Stalinist-era judge

AFP/The Local
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Poland summons Swedish ambassador over extradition of Stalinist-era judge

Poland on Tuesday summoned the Swedish ambassador to protest Stockholm's latest refusal to extradite a Stalinist-era judge who sentenced several Polish anti-communist dissidents to death in the early 1950s.


"I expressed our indignation to the ambassador regarding the decision not to extradite Stefan Michnik," Poland's deputy foreign minister Szymon Szynkowski told reporters, referring to the decision made by a Swedish court earlier this month.

Warsaw has repeatedly demanded the extradition of Michnik, 90, who has been living in Sweden since the late 1960s.

Polish authorities allege he is responsible for around 30 crimes linked to the sentencing of anti-communist dissidents "based on fabricated evidence".

The Swedish court refused to extradite Michnik, who is now a Swedish citizen, after finding the charges against him presented by Poland were subject to a statute of limitations. Warsaw, however, alleges that Michnik is responsible for crimes against humanity, which are not subject to limitations.

"We expressed the hope that Sweden, a country that condemns crimes against humanity, would extradite Stefan Michnik or take other legal steps to judge his actions," Szynkowski said.

A Swedish court previously refused to extradite Michnik in 2010.

Michnik is the half-brother of Polish historian Adam Michnik, a renowned anti-communist dissident who is editor-in-chief of Poland's leading Gazeta Wyborcza liberal daily.

The newspaper has been a vehement critic of judicial reforms by Poland's governing right-wing Law and Justice party, said by opponents both at home and abroad to undermine the rule of law. 


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