Ex-PM Olszewski's memorial services held on Saturday

The main memorial services for the former Polish Prime Minister Jan Olszewski will be held in Warsaw on Saturday. The funeral mass will start at 11 a.m. at Warsaw Cathedral.

Following an 11 a.m. memorial service, the former PM will be laid to rest at Warsaw's Powązki Military Cemetery. The funeral will have a state character.

The funeral is being organised by the Prime Minister's Office and the Council of Ministers of Poland, PM's aide Michal Dworczyk said.

The coffin carrying Olszewski's body will be escorted from the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Grace and then transferred to the St. John's Arch Cathedral in Warsaw, where at 11 a.m. a funeral mass will take place. Afterwards, at 1 p.m., the funeral procession will proceed to the Warsaw Uprising monument at 1 p.m.

The gun carriage carrying the coffin assisted by police and cavalry will be transported to Warsaw's Powązki Military Cemetery, where at 2.45 p.m. the funeral will take place.

Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, the head of the President's Office, Halina Szymańska, leader of ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party Jarosław Kaczyński, Speakers of the Sejm (lower house) and Senate Marek Kuchciński and Stanisław Karczewski, Deputy Prime Ministers Beata Szydło and Piotr Gliński and others ministers have paid homage to Jan Olszewski.

Polish President Andrzej Duda has decreed a state of national mourning for the former Polish PM Jan Olszewski, commencing on Friday night until 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Former PM Jan Olszewski died at the age of 88 last Friday. He headed the Polish government in 1991-1992. In the communist era, notably in the 1960s and 1970s, he was a defence attorney in political trials of oppositionists. In the 1980s, when the nationwide Solidarity movement emerged in defiance of the communist authorities, Olszewski became an advisor to what was the first independent trade union in the Soviet bloc and its leader Lech Wałęsa.

When communism collapsed in 1989, Olszewski became a political leader and later an advisor to late President Lech Kaczyński. He was awarded the Order of the White Eagle, Poland's top distinction, in 2009.