Court says Poland's Walesa must apologize to party leader

Court says Poland's Walesa must apologize to party leader
Poland's two most famous foes, the country's de facto leader, head of the ruling party Jaroslaw Kaczynski, right, and former President Lech Walesa, second left, stand near each other after exchanging wry comments before a courtroom in Gdansk, Poland, on Thursday, Nov. 22, 2018. Kaczynski is suing Walesa for blaming him for a 2010 plane crash that killed his twin, then-President Lech Kaczynski. (AP Photo/Wojciech Strozyk)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Polish court has ruled that Lech Walesa, the anti-communist dissident and former president, must apologize to the head of Poland’s ruling party in a slander case.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the powerful head of the ruling Law and Justice party, sued Walesa for blaming him in social media posts for the 2010 plane crash in Smolensk, Russia, that killed Kaczynski’s twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski, along with 95 others including top Polish political and military leaders.

In a post in 2016, Walesa alleged that Kaczynski, “guided by bravado,” was on the phone pushing for the plane to land in heavy fog.

The Gdansk court ruled Thursday that Walesa must apologize to Kaczynski in various platforms, including on the radio and on social media.

Neither man was in court for the verdict.