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4 go on trial in Poland for slaying of priest

Three Polish security police officers who face possible death sentences after confessing to the Oct. 19 kidnapping and murder of a pro-Solidarity priest, the Rev. Jerzy Popieluszko, go on trial today in the northern town of Torun. An Interior Ministry colonel who denies having instigated the killing, will be judged by the same court.

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Many Poles view this as one of the most important trials in 40 years of communist rule because of its political consequences. ''Regardless of whether the trial produces any new sensations, it will shape the opinion of millions of Poles about the government and rule of law in Poland,'' said Jan Jozef Lipski, a prominent dissident historian.