Opposition MP defends Smolensk crash experts

Opposition MP defends Smolensk crash experts

The head of a Polish parliamentary committee on the causes of the 2010 Smolensk air crash has defended his team of experts after they were compromised by leaks to a Polish daily.

2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash fot. Wikipedia

2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash fot. Wikipedia

“I cannot remember such a brutal witchhunt of Polish academics since 1968,” MP Antoni Macierewicz has claimed, alluding to the communist clampdown 45 years ago.

Macierewicz has reaffirmed his belief that “the Polish pilots were led to their death” and that “an explosion occurred.”

The MP’s comments follow an article in the Gazeta Wyborcza daily that drew on information provided by the Military Prosecutor’s Office.

According to details disclosed by the prosecutor’s office, one member of Macierewicz’s committee justified his competence to investigate the crash by saying that he had made model airplanes since he was a child.

Another justification of an expert was that he had looked at the wings of planes while on passenger flights.

Meanwhile, Captain Marcin Maksjan, a spokesman for the Military Prosecutor’s Office, commented that “not one” of Macierewicz’s team was able to present evidence supporting their initial theories on the disaster.

Macierewicz filed a complaint to Poland’s Attorney General on Tuesday, claiming that the Military Prosecutor’s Office had disclosed confidential information by allowing details of proceedings to be published.

Some 96 Poles died in the April 2010 crash at the Russian military airport in Smolensk, including President Lech Kaczynski.

The disaster continues to be a highly divisive issue in Poland. Law and Justice leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, twin brother of the late president, has claimed on several occasions that sabotage led to the crash.

Official Polish and Russian reports found that the crash, which took place in thick fog, was an accident.

Meanwhile, Poland’s Attorney General Andrzej Seremet has declared that work on the official Polish investigastion will be completed by 10 December 2013.

(nh)

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