VIENNA, Austria -- Interior Ministry officials said today the leader of the gunmen who attacked the Polish Embassy in Bern was convicted in Austria as a Polish spy in 1968.
Florian Kruszyk, 42, who led the four-day seizure of the embassy, arrived in Austria in 1967 as an alleged political refugee from Poland but was soon detected by police as a member of the Polish secret service.
Kruszyk, who called himself Col. Wysocki, was tried on June 11, 1968, and sentenced to 10 months in jail for faking his passport and violating Austrian security laws.
Police said Kruszyk spied on Polish refugees in the transit camp at Traiskirchen near Vienna and relayed his information to the Polish Embassy in Vienna.
During interrogations, Kruszyk admitted to have been a member of the Polish secret service between 1962 and 1965.
After his expulsion from Austria in December 1968 Kruszyk returned illegally to Vienna where he robbed a Viennese jeweller.
For this crime, Kruszyk was sentenced in 1970 to nine years in jail. But Kruszyk obtained his release in 1978 and was expelled, this time to Switzerland, where he failed to obtain a residence permit and therefore proceeded to the Netherlands.
Austrian security officials said it is possible Kruszyk, who repeatedly admitted his espionage activities, still cooperates with the Polish secret service.