The prosecutor’s office of Poland initiates a temporary arrest of the Russian air traffic controllers who worked at Smolensk Airport during the crash of a Tu-154 flight with President Lech Kaczyński aboard as PAP reported.
“The charges brought to the controllers concern the deliberate inducing of the air crash that led to the death of many people,” Spokesperson of Polish Prosecutor’s General Office Ewa Bialik stated.
The decision of the court about the arrest will become the first step to put the controllers on the wanted list and demand to extradite them to the Polish authorities.
It is noted that within the investigation, the investigators of the prosecutor’s office inspected the wreckage of the plane keeping near Smolensk-Severnyy Airport and appealed to Russia for legal assistance, including for bringing charges and questioning of the suspects.
The prosecutor’s office of Poland underlined that they filed a few dozens requests to Russia; however ‘the Russian side did not fulfill the key proceedings’.
As a result of the reanalysis of evidence, the prosecutor’s office found out that the system of the radar landing used at Smolensk Airport was out of order and the point marking the location of the plane was false: the controllers ordered the pilots to descend and land without knowledge of their location.
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 deceased was the-then President of Poland Lech Kaczyński, his wife Maria, many Polish top-rank officials and relatives of the 1940 Katyn massacre victims. The Polish side suspects that Russian flight dispatchers could be behind the catastrophe. Russia, on the other hand, insists that the airliner crashed due to the pilot’s error as the plane was landing amidst the thick fog.