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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 July 2006, 11:02 GMT 12:02 UK
Polish priest admits spy claims
Map of Poland
A prominent Polish priest has admitted spying for the country's communist-era secret police.

"My guilt is beyond discussion," Father Michal Czajkowski said in a statement, asking for forgiveness.

The priest was accused in a media report in May of being a communist agent from 1960 to 1984.

He initially denied the allegations, but soon resigned from Poland's Christian-Jewish council, where he was a co-chairman.

"I displayed weakness of character," Michal Czajkowski said in a statement released on Tuesday.

"I have already expressed my repentance to God. Now I am doing the same with people," he added.

Poland's Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), which investigates communist-era crimes, has said it has evidence that the priest was an informer for the secret police, the SB.

The IPN says it believes he broke off his collaboration after the murder by the SB of Jerzy Popieluszko, a chaplain to the Solidarity trade union.

Father Czajkowski is the latest in a string of church and other public figures in Poland to face allegations of collaborating with the SB.

Last year, Father Konrad Hejmo, an aide to the late Pope John Paul II, was suspended by his religious order amid similar claims.

Father Hejmo - who was the main link between the late Polish-born Pope and groups of Polish pilgrims - denies the allegations.

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