Polish envoy to intl. aviation body says defense minister pressured him

Poland’s envoy to the Interstate Aviation Committee (MAK) Edmund Klich said Wednesday that Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich pressured him following last year’s deadly air crash in western Russia that killed then-Polish President Lech Kaczynski and a host of other top officials.

“The defense minister tried to influence me. He wanted me [during investigation in Russia] to focus only on why the Russians had not closed the Smolensk Airfield [for landing],” the envoy told the TVN television channel.

The Russia-based MAK in January laid the blame for the April 2010 crash of the Polish Air Force Tu-154 that was carrying Kaczynski and 95 others in thick fog near the city of Smolensk squarely on the Polish side, and politicians in Poland have since lined up to try to pin blame elsewhere.

“With all my effort I wanted to prevent the Russians from having an impression that we came to put the blame for the crash on them and seek the reasons [for the crash] here. There were such tendencies,” Edmund Klich said.

The defense minister denied the envoy’s claims. “This is nonsense. I spoke to him [Edmund Klich] two or three times, and he did not receive any orders from me,” he said.

WARSAW, April 6 (RIA Novosti)

Leave a comment