Kaczynski’s brother blasts Russian probe of plane crash

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Warsaw, Jan 12 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Jaroslaw Kaczynski, opposition leader and the twin brother of late Polish president Lech Kaczynski, criticised Wednesday the Russian investigation of the plane crash that killed the leader and 95 other top officials in April 2010.

Russia’s Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) released earlier Wednesday a final report on the crash that blames the tragedy on serious organisational flaws, poor pilot training and pressure on the pilots by Kaczynski and other state officials on board the Tu-154 plane.

“These are the results of the decision made by Prime Minister Donald Tusk to hand over the investigation to the Russians,” Kaczynski, the leader of the Law and Justice Party, told reporters in Warsaw.

“Today we are facing the consequences of this decision in the form of a report, which puts the full and one-sided blame on Polish pilots and Poland without any evidence,” he said.

Kaczynski, a losing candidate in the presidential elections that followed the death of his brother, has repeatedly criticised incumbent Polish authorities for their failure to investigate the tragedy properly.

However, Russian investigators claimed in the report that their cooperation with Polish counterparts during the probe was very close and transparent.

At least 24 Polish officials took part in the Russian investigation.

“Without waiting for the end of the investigation, Russia handed over to Poland all the copies and the transcription of conversations with the Polish crew,” investigation committee head Tatyana Anodina said at a news conference in Moscow.

“Polish experts were present during the opening of the flight recorders. Representatives of the Polish prosecutor’s office took part in the work of the commission,” she said.

The first report was given to Polish authorities Oct 20 last year, and it also blamed pilot error for the crash in heavy fog, but in December Poland sent it back to Moscow with 150 comments and queries.

Tusk said at the time that parts of the report were “unacceptable”.

Polish experts also said they were dissatisfied with the documents provided by Russia. Most of the complaints concerned a lack of technical details about the Severny airport in Smolensk where the plane was due to land.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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