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The Latest: Poland spying suspect held top cyber jobs

January 11, 2019
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The Huawei logo displayed at the main office of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Poland's Internal Security Agency has charged a Chinese manager at Huawei in Poland and one of its own former officers with espionage against Poland on behalf of China. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The Latest on the espionage-related arrests in Poland (all times local):

6 p.m.

The Polish state news agency says a Polish man who has been charged with spying for China had held top cybersecurity positions at different state agencies and had been involved in projects co-financed by the European Union.

PAP reported Friday that the suspect had worked at three key agencies in Poland. Those included the Interior Ministry, the Office of Electronic Communications, a regulatory body that oversees cyber and other telecommunications issues, and the International Security Agency, Poland’s counterespionage agency.

He and a Chinese citizen who is a manager for the Chinese tech firm Huawei in Poland were arrested Tuesday and have been charged with spying for China.

PAP reported that, when the Polish suspect was at the Internal Security Agency, he was involved in building a mobile communications system for top Polish officials. He was fired in 2011 amid a major corruption scandal.

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3:40 p.m.

Orange, a leading telecommunications company in Poland, says it’s cooperating with the Polish security services who say a Polish employee at the company and a Chinese manager for tech giant Huawei have been accused of spying on Poland for China.

Orange Poland told The Associated Press on Friday that officials from Poland’s Internal Security Agency searched the company’s headquarters in Warsaw on Tuesday and that as part of operation “we handed over belongings of one of our employees.”

The Polish spy agency and Poland’s state television, which is closely tied to the Polish government, reported the arrests and the searches at both Huawei and Orange.

Orange told the AP it did not know if the suspicions against its employee were related to his professional duties and that it was working with the country’s security agency.

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1:25 p.m.

An official at the Chinese Embassy in Warsaw says China attaches “great importance to the detention” of a Chinese citizen in Poland who has been detained and charged with espionage and that a representative of the embassy has met with officials at Poland’s Foreign Ministry to discuss the case.

Polish state television reported Friday that the country’s Internal Security Agency has charged a Chinese manager at tech company Huawei in Poland and a Polish man who is one of its own former officers with spying for China. The arrests happened on Tuesday.

A spokeswoman at the Chinese Embassy told The Associated Press that embassy representatives have met with officials at Poland’s Foreign Ministry and that China urges Poland “to inform China about the situation of this case and arrange a consular visit as soon as possible.”

The spokeswoman added: “We require the Polish side to handle this case legally, fairly and properly and ensure the legal rights, interests, security and the humanitarian treatment of the Chinese citizen.”

The official spoke on condition of anonymity, saying it was the official position of the Chinese government and that it “doesn’t matter” who conveyed the comment.

The official wouldn’t comment on whether the suspect is guilty, saying “the Chinese side opposes any speculations and defaming in the absence of concrete facts.”

--By Vanessa Gera

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12:15 p.m.

Chinese telecom company Huawei is being tightlipped on reports one of its employees has been arrested by Polish authorities on suspicion of espionage.

The company, which makes telecom equipment and consumer electronics, said in a statement that it is “aware of the situation, and we are looking into it.”

Polish state TV said that one of two people arrested was a Chinese man identified as Weijing W., who was a Huawei director in Poland.

Huawei said it “complies with all applicable laws and regulations in the countries where it operates, and we require every employee to abide by the laws and regulations in the countries where they are based.”

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10:25 a.m.

An official says Poland’s Internal Security Agency has arrested a Chinese businessman and a Pole on suspicion of espionage.

Maciej Wasik, deputy head of Poland’s special services, said Friday that the operation that resulted in the arrest of the two suspects had been underway for a long time and was planned with care.

Wasik said that the Chinese suspect was a businessman working for a major electronics corporation and that the Pole was “known in circles associated with cyber-business affairs.”

He said “both carried out espionage activities against Poland.”

Polish state TV reported that the Chinese man is a director at Huawei in Poland and that the Pole has worked at the Internal Security Agency, the agency that investigates spying and terrorism

If convicted, they could face up to 10 years in prison.

All contents © copyright 2019 The Associated Press.All rights reserved.
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The Huawei logo displayed at the main office of Chinese tech giant Huawei in Warsaw, Poland, on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Poland's Internal Security Agency has charged a Chinese manager at Huawei in Poland and one of its own former officers with espionage against Poland on behalf of China. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)