Head of Environmental Fund resigns over dubious past

Following disclosure of the fact that Kazimierz Kujda, the head of the National Fund for Environment Protection and Water Management (NFOŚiGW), used to be a secret collaborator of the communist secret services, he resigned from his position.

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The dismissal was accepted by Henryk Kowalczyk, the Environment minister. Mr Kujda had been the head of the NFOŚiGW since December 2015. It was his third time as chairman of this fund after two previous terms in 2000-2002 and 2006-2008.

Last week, the Polish media revealed that Mr Kujda had been a secret agent of the communist secret service. His codename was “Ryszard.” He is said to have begun cooperation with the regime in 1979 in Siedlce, eastern Poland.

He claims that he had never cooperated with secret services in a way that would harm anybody. Mr Kujda admitted to “signing some documents,” when he applied for permission to go abroad.

Mr Kujda’s name appeared in the recent article of “Gazeta Wyborcza” daily. The newspaper revealed the recording of a conversation between him and the Austrian entrepreneur Gerald Birgfellner. The companies of the entrepreneur were to prepare an investment of the two skyscrapers for the Srebrna company, associated with the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party. Małgorzata Kujda, the wife of Kazimierz Kujda, is the head of the Srebrna company.

Jarosław Kaczyński, the leader of PiS told the Polish Press Agency that he did not know about Mr Kujda’s collaboration with the communist secret services. He and Mr Kujda have had a long working relationship.

“I found out about it only after the media had made public... I admit that this news struck me like a thunderbolt. I have never noticed anything that could be construed as Mr Kujda’s activities against us or the company,” Mr Kaczyński said.

“I do not justify his cooperation under any circumstances. Most likely he was not an important agent and the collaboration lasted only about a year. In 1981 he started looking for a way out. I emphasise that I have not read any original material about him, but only the media reports,” he said.