Suspected Bugging Equipment In Room Where Polish Cabinet Was To Meet Said To Be An Old Sound System

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A Polish official said bugging devices were found in a room where the Polish Cabinet was scheduled to meet Tuesday, but another official later said the equipment was part of an old sound system in the building.

Some government opponents and analysts criticized the Polish secret services for apparently failing to properly identify the equipment and releasing information before they were sure.

But the government said the Polish special services had been vigilant and behaved appropriately, and that the Internal Security Agency was conducting further investigations in the case.

“Every day there is new information about various strange events that are directly or indirectly related to the aggressive presence of Russian and Belarusian services in Europe," Prime Minister Donald Tusk said.

The incident underlines anxieties in Poland, a NATO country that borders Ukraine, with a war nearby and warnings that Russia is increasing its activities against the West.

Those anxieties grew on Monday, when a Polish judge who had access to sensitive information fled to Belarus and publicly criticized Poland's government while praising Russia and Belarus. He is now suspected of spying and is under investigation.

The members of Tusk's Cabinet met Tuesday in Katowice, a southwestern Polish city in the region of Silesia where Tusk was attending an economic conference.

Early Tuesday, Jacek Dobrzyński, the spokesperson for the head of Poland's secret services, said a routine security check uncovered equipment that could be used for recording or eavesdropping.

Later the spokesperson for the surrounding Silesian region, Alicja Waliszewska, said the equipment was probably part of an old sound system, the state news agency PAP reported.

“The services responded correctly to this situation and dismantled an old element of the system probably used for internal communication,” Waliszewska said.

Dobrzyński could not be immediately reached for comment on the discrepancy.

The Cabinet traditionally holds weekly sessions in Warsaw but moved this week to Katowice because of a meeting of the European Economic Congress, at which European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivered a speech.