Wiesława Lewandowska talks with Professor Romuald Szeremietiew
WIESŁAWA LEWANDOWSKA: - After the tragic death of gen. Sławomir Petelicki, Professor published a special statement that you are healthy and you do not have any problems of personal or financial nature and you are not going to commit a suicide. Why?
PROF. ROMUALD SZEREMIETIEW: - It was my very personal – resulting from my own experiences – response to the comments appearing after this tragic and mysterious event. I admit that I am very agitated and find it hard to believe that somebody like him went into a garage to get water and simply shot himself. It simply does not suit Petelicki...
- Why doesn’t it suit?
- Because, knowing his family situation well, I know how he used to look up at his wife, how proud of his children he was... I am sure that he would not have decided to pass away so simply – without a word, not leaving any letter to his family and not explaining anything.
- In media various speculations appeared, justifying the eventuality of the suicide, for example Alzheimer disease or depression...
- This searching for justifications and explanations for the suicide at any cost is simply unsuitable...The man who commanded a special unit, was not only an educated commander, and he had worked in the Military Intelligence earlier, who had to work in extreme conditions through all his life, and overcome stress, would not have killed himself, so simply...I really find it difficult to believe in this ‘suicide’, hence there is my statement.
- Your statement is a signal that you are feeling somehow threatened?
- However strange it would seem to somebody, I refer to what I experienced in my life. In the year 2000 officers of Military Information Services came to me with information that a secret team had been set up under the leadership of the manager deputy of the Military Information Services for counter-intelligence – Colonel Kazimierz Moloch. The task of this team was to prepare conditions for depriving me of the post and excluding me from a tender for the purchase of weapon for the Polish army. Then I neglected the warning, and did not treat it seriously. And from 1 July 2001, for the next 9 years I had been going to procurators and courts before I was acquitted.
- The fact is that you were excluded effectively and deprived of influence on the process of matters in the Polish army, but not muted...
- The further process was that when acquitting verdicts had already been proclaimed, somebody credible came to me with information that in a group it had been discussed whether after the acquittal I would not ‘be barking’ and whether I should not be muted for ever.
- When was it?
- Over a year ago. My interlocutor did not know whether this decision had been made or not.
- Did you get frightened?
- I left the fright about life behind myself long time ago, when in the Polish People’s Republic I started an independent activity. And in this matter I decided to undertake some actions. I could not inform procurators, because the person, who had given me the information in fear of his safety, would not have confirmed it. I did not decide to proclaim this matter publicly, because I would have been treated as somebody suffering from persecuting mania. So I made a note with the description of the situation, I asked an attorney for a confirmation that I am its author and I deposited the note in a safe place with a disposition of making it public ‘in case something would happen to me’...
- Why now, giving the statement, did you decide to reveal a little of the secret?
- The gen. Sławomir Petelicki might not have died by a suicide, so assuming, that indeed I was informed about the intentions concerning my person, I thought that I should make such a gesture now that those who were planning something, would know that I also know about it. That’s all.
- But isn’t it a kind of assurance, a kind of safe-conduct for the feeling of security?
- This statement, certainly, does not guarantee any security. However, it makes slightly difficult to do the task by potential assassins. Unfortunately, there are a lot of ways to get rid of somebody inconvenient; from outing radioactive polonium into tea (Litwinienko), through a car accident (Karp), a kind of rope (Lepper) to a shot into head. So, there cannot be any illusions.
- Is a ‘mass murderer’ prowling in Poland – as Antoni Mecierewicz says?
- Indeed, there is something in it. We all remember a strange suicidal death of Andrzej Lepper, but only few people know that in the same not long time, lively people from his surrounding passed away from the world in strange circumstances. In Poland we have many surprising deaths, even in well-guarded prisons where witnesses testifying in important judicial processes hang themselves. It seems that we have more and more unexplained completely unfortunate accidents among people having special knowledge in important matters.
- It is all about muting them because they disturb somebody? Whom and why could gen. Petelicki disturb?
- I am not going to speculate on this issue...I talked with Petelicki last month and nothing indicated his troubles, but, in contrary – he was full of optimism, told me that he was actively caring about creating a company which would provide the former commanders of GROM with work. He felt responsible for them.
- So, what in your opinion might have been a reason for the eventual homicide?
- Analyzing his biography, it might be possible to find a few such matters, but – I repeat – these are only speculations and it is really not worth reflecting on them. The General treated the state matters as very important – he wanted to be a statesman. I treated his attitude and behaviour with respect. He was also one of them who believed in my innocence when many people left me... He was saying publicly, that I had been eliminated for the fact that I had wanted to do what was needed and good for the army. I also know that a great experience for him was the Smolensk catastrophe...
- Some people just associate his sudden death with what he knew and said about it...
- These are again some speculations. Let’s not be floundering in them now.
- Can we hope that one day we will find out the truth about this death?
- Let’s hope that procurators will be able to explain anything. However, we can doubt if the version of suicide is assumed in advance.
- Main mass media consider the version of homicide as politically incorrect.
- In all these matters ‘somebody’ accuses us of what has happened like in the case of the Smolensk catastrophe where before anything was investigated, there had been an opinion that it had been the fault of the pilots... Somebody is suggesting it to people – for what purpose?
- And people are laughing at crazy people and conspiracy theories.
- Probably the devil is glad the most when he has managed to persuade the man to believe that the devil does not exist. It is the same with conspiracy theories – it is not doubtful that they exist. Whole state institutions, which deal with conspiracy theories, are working - these are, among the others, various kinds of secret services. And what is the organized criminality, if not conspiracy? So there are also some conspirators. Persuading into thinking that they do not exist, is creating conditions for conspirators to act. In the interest of conspirators is persuading us into thinking that there is no conspiracy.
- They do not exist when a well-functioning state can reduce them effectively.
- A well-functioning state yes but the Polish state is an arena of struggles among contradictory political interests today, a subject of a game among the worldly powers which have their plans and their agencies. In every elaboration concerning secret services, the significance of the so-called agents of influence is emphasized, who create opinions, influence political decisions of the authorities in a particular country. Maybe also such ‘suicides’, and at least some of them were in somebody’s action plan, in the orbit of some foreign interests.
- Meanwhile in Poland the problem is that the country cannot assure safety neither to the former soldiers nor members of its special services pushed aside to the margin. Is there much exaggeration in a journalistic statement that everybody who has ‘special knowledge’ can feel somehow threatened?
- Maybe not everyone but the whole situation is highly worrying. A normal country tries to protect such people in its well-understood interest and use their knowledge; whereas there is often a situation in Poland that the country simply ‘spits out’ these people because they are simply a burden for it. It is not considered at all, that the man with a valuable knowledge, and being in a difficult life situation, can use it in a way unfavourable for the country. It may also be so, that those rejected will strengthen the criminal world with their knowledge and skills.
- And in an optimistic variant does this knowledge simple get wasted?
- Yes, I know it through my example. Holding the post in the Ministry of Defence for many years, I was also responsible for matters of the modernization of the army, and I was also a National director for armament in NATO. So, I participated in secret meetings concerning, for example, new systems of armament, investigation processes of the Alliance, etc. So, I had a unique and valuable knowledge for the country. Well, what if people directing the country do not see the need for taking advantage of such people as me.
- And you have simply been muted....
- In the century of Internet it is impossible to shut human mouth, but people can be ignored. After my statement there were a lot of phone calls and many editorial offices want my opinions on these topics of ‘assassination’; whereas I have been publishing texts for years about the state of the army and the defence of the country and they generally did not arouse more interest. Now I find out that I want to come back to the arena through my experience, as if I had been keeping silent so far. However, on the other hand I prefer recalling myself through this special statement that I am not going to become a suicide, than in such a way like it happened in the case of gen. Sławomir Petelicki.
THE STATEMENT OF PROFESSOR ROMUALD SZEREMIETIEW
Last year I received message from a serious source that in certain influential groups the issue of ‘muting me for ever’ was being discussed. It was not certain whether the decision in this matter had been made.
The circumstances of passing this information would not allow for revealing it. Unable to prove the truth of this information, I would be acknowledged for suffering from persecuting mania or accused of slandering innocent people.
The death of gen. Petelicki forced me to take a voice.
In reference with it I state that I am healthy and I do not have any personal or financial problems and I am not going to commit a suicide.
18. 06. 12