Poland verifying if judge who asked for asylum in Belarus was a spy

Tomasz Szmydt, a Polish judge who requested political asylum in Belarus, attends a press conference in Minsk

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland is verifying if a Polish judge who had access to confidential information and asked for political asylum in Belarus had been spying, authorities said on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, Tomasz Szmydt, a judge from a Warsaw administrative court, asked for asylum in Belarus, saying he acted in protest to Poland's policy towards Russia and Belarus, according to a video aired by Russian TV.

A hub for Western military supplies to Ukraine as it fights Russia's invasion, Poland says it has become a major target of Russian spies. It accuses Moscow and its ally Belarus of trying to destabilise it.

Prosecutors are checking if Szmydt has been spying against Poland given his Monday's statement and information he had access to as a judge, a Polish State Prosecutor's Office spokesperson told Reuters.

Szmydt was slated to rule on cases concerning issuing security clearances to information on NATO and European Union secrets next month, according to a calendar of court sittings of the Warsaw administrative court. "The matter requires immediate clarification," Polish Defence Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz told reporters on Monday, adding that going to Belarus makes previous activities a matter that "gives a lot to think about."

Separately, the Polish Internal Security Agency said it is checking the scope of confidential information that Szmydt had access to, said a spokesperson for the coordinator of Poland's secret services.

(Reporting by Marek Strzelecki and Anna Koper; Editing by Josie Kao)