Presidential plane crash investigator confirms assassination allegations

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“Poland will experience a radical change after the publication of the report and the new position that the Polish state will take in taking international action related to the Smolensk crime,” Macierewicz said.
Marcin Obara/PAP

The head of a special subcommittee investigating the cause of the Smolensk air disaster that killed Poland’s president and dozens of members of the country’s political and military elite says his official report will prove their plane had exploded.

On April 10, 2010, at 8:41 a.m., President Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and 94 others were killed when their plane crashed while landing near Smolensk, Russia.

The president and accompanying delegation were on their way to nearby Katyn to witness events marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre in 1940, in which nearly 22,000 Polish prisoners of war, mostly army officers army, police and administrative personnel were murdered. of the Soviets.

Two official inquiries into the disaster concluded it was an accident, but Jarosław Kaczyński, the late president’s twin and leader of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, has always maintained that his brother had been murdered.

The PiS government created the special subcommittee to investigate the incident and appointed Antoni Macierewicz, a close ally of Kaczyński, to lead it.

Its report on the disaster will be released on Monday.

“I cannot change the truth and I will never change it, and the report that will be presented tomorrow clearly indicates that the tragedy in Smolensk was caused by an act of unlawful interference which destroyed the aircraft with an explosion”, Macierewicz told public broadcaster PR24. on Sunday, the 12th anniversary of the disaster.

“Poland will experience a radical change after the publication of the report and the new position that the Polish state will take in undertaking international action related to the crime in Smolensk,” continued the head of the subcommittee.

Macierewicz, when asked who was behind the explosion, said that in 2008 a decision was made to outsource the service of the two Polish government aircraft, the Soviet-era Tu-154 planes, to a company linked to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch. with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“From that moment on, the Russian (secret) services controlled all actions related to President Lech Kaczyński’s visit to Smolensk,” Macierewicz said.

Macierewicz’s subcommittee was strongly criticized by the opposition and some family members of the victims. In the six years of its operation, which included exhumations of the bodies of victims, the commission was marred by the resignations of its experts, who often criticized the way the body was handled.

The assassination allegations, which Macierewicz has made numerous times before, have been refuted by Maciej Lasek, the head of the original investigative body into the Smolensk air disaster, the Polish Air Accident Investigation Committee. national aviation.

The original report, published a year after the disaster, said the primary cause of the accident was pilot error in adverse weather conditions.

Poles have been divided on who to believe in the investigations into the Smolensk disaster and the issue still sparks a lot of controversy in society.

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