Walesa avoids hate crime charge for anti-gay words

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish prosecutors say they will not charge former President Lech Walesa with hate crimes for recent remarks deemed offensive to gays.

Walesa, a communist-era fighter for democracy and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, sparked outrage among liberal Poles by saying March 1 that gays have no right to a prominent role in politics. He said gay lawmakers should sit in the back of Parliament, or "even behind the wall."

That prompted Ryszard Nowak, director of the National Committee for the Defense Against Sects and Violence, to file a complaint with prosecutors in Gdansk, Walesa's hometown. He said Walesa was promoting the hatred of a sexual minority.

But Renata Klonowska, head of the regional prosecutor's office in Gdansk, said Wednesday that investigators found Walesa did not commit a crime under Polish law.