Poland charges Russian air dispatchers and ‘an unknown third person’ in the deliberate provocation of the Smolensk plane crash. The disaster that occurred in April 2010 took lives of many Polish officials, including the-then President Lech Kaczynski. Newsweek Polska reported that on Monday, April 3.
‘During the investigation, we collected certain evidence that let the prosecutors shape new accusations against the flight dispatchers and the third person who was present in the air traffic control tower at the moment. They are charged with purposeful provocation of the disaster, which resulted in numerous deaths,’ Marek Poszczenek, Deputy Prosecutor General said at a press conference in Warsaw.
He added that Poland will turn to Russia, requiring legal assistance during interviewing the Russian flight dispatchers.
The Kremlin denied the charges. ‘The details of this tragedy were well investigated and examined. Of course, we cannot accept or agree with such conclusions (of the Polish side, - 112 International),’ said Dmitiry Peskov, the press secretary of Russian leader Vladimir Putin.
On April 10, 2010, a Tupolev Tu-154 aircraft of the Polish Air Force crashed near the city of Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 people on board. Among the victims were Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife Maria, formerPresident of Poland in exile Ryszard Kaczorowski, the chief of the Polish General Staff and other senior Polish military officers, the president of the National Bank of Poland, Polish Government officials, 18 members of the Polish Parliament, senior members of the Polish clergy and relatives of victims of the Katyn massacre. The group was arriving from Warsaw to attend an event marking the 70th anniversary of the massacre, which took place not far from Smolensk.
The pilots were attempting to land at the airport, a former military airbase, in thick fog, with visibility reduced to about 500 metres. The aircraft descended far below the normal approach path until it struck trees, rolled inverted and crashed into the ground, coming to rest in a wooded area a short distance from the runway.
Both the Russian and Polish official investigations found no technical faults with the aircraft, and concluded that the crew failed to conduct the approach in a safe manner in the given weather conditions. The Polish authorities found serious deficiencies in the organization and training of the Air Force unit involved, which was subsequently disbanded. Several high-ranking members of the Polish military resigned, under pressure from politicians and the media.
Various conspiracy theories about the crash have since been in circulation, and are promoted by senior political figures in Poland, who claim the crash was a political assassination. No evidence supporting this version was found in Polish and international investigations.
Source: Newsweek Polska