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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

WARSAW, Poland — Poland's justice minister has ordered prosecutors to investigate a high-tech telecommunications cable laid by gas giant Gazprom along its natural-gas pipeline across Poland.

The investigation would "definitely involve more than one ministry," Lech Kaczynski said at a news conference Wednesday. "The matter needs to be investigated in such a manner that only prosecutors can handle."

The involvement of prosecutors is the first indication that officials suspect the possibility of criminal acts in connection with the mysterious high-tech cable.

The line supposedly was meant only to monitor pipeline operations, but it became the focus of a scandal when a newspaper revealed it had enough capacity to handle most of Russia's telecommunications traffic with the west.

Media reports have suggested that Poland was being cut out of potential profits from the cable, and questions have arisen about who knew about its capacity and how the permits were issued.

Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek pledged to investigate to make sure Polish interests concerned with the cable line were protected.

The 675-kilometer Polish section of the pipeline was built by EuRoPol Gaz, a Russian-Polish venture in which Gazprom holds a 48 percent stake. Gazprom has already signed telecommunications accords with operators in western Europe.

The pipeline has been completed, but Gazprom's plans to finish the cable by year's end have been stalled by farmers in central Poland, who are demanding higher compensation for right of way.

The scandal has revived memories among some Poles of Moscow's domination of Poland during communist times.

Some Polish media say it shows that the Kremlin is as arrogant as ever toward Poles.