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Poles Seize Trepper Files from Leopold’s Lawyer in Warsaw

Leopold Trepper’s lawyer reported today that Polish authorities confiscated his files relating to the Trepper case at Warsaw Airport this morning in gross violation of the “privileged communications” between lawyer and client. Daniel Souliez-Lariviere, the French attorney engaged by the World War II master spy to handle his libel suit against the head of French counter-intelligence, returned from Warsaw this afternoon after three days of consultation with Trepper. He told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Trepper was “a very sick man who rarely, if ever, leaves his home.”

He said he was seriously concerned because he could not reach Trepper by phone since his return to Paris and expressed fear that he might have been arrested. Lariviere said that Trepper saw him off at Warsaw Airport this morning. While waiting for his plane to depart, the lawyer said, Polish officials detained him for three hours, forced him to strip and confiscated all files and documents in his possession. He said he had warned the officials that their action could provoke a diplomatic and juridical incident.

Trepper, who headed the Soviet spy network in Nazi occupied Western Europe during World War II, has filed suit against Jean Rochet of the French counter-espionage agency for alleging, in an article in Le Monde on April 14, that Trepper collaborated with the Gestapo during the war and had worked against France on behalf of the Soviet Union before its outbreak. Trepper’s suit will be given a preliminary hearing in a Paris criminal court on July 13 but the case is not expected to be tried until after the summer recess next Oct.

Trepper and his wife Elisabeth have been trying without success to obtain exit visas to leave Poland to join a son in Israel. Mrs. Trepper left Poland two months ago on a temporary visa. Polish authorities claim Trepper “knows too much” to be permitted to leave.

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