Polish military prosecutor’s office charges 3 officers in Smolensk crash case

WARSAW, August 22 (Itar-Tass) —— The Polish military prosecutor’s office had charged 3 officers in the presidential plane crash case.

The officers held positions in the 36th Special Regiment in April 2010 when the Polish presidential plane crashed near Smolensk, Russia. The regiment was responsible for the transportation of top officials.

The officers have been charged with failure to perform their duties related to the preparation of the flight to Smolensk on April 1, 2010. They have pleaded not guilty so far and refused to submit their explanations.

The Technical Commission of the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) has finished the investigation of the Polish presidential planer crash near Smolensk in April 2010.

“The final report became legally complete after its publication with the Polish side’s comments as its inalienable part,” the IAC told Itar-Tass on August 3.

“The final report was sent to the State Commission of the Russian Federation and the Republic of Poland as well as to the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation, which is investigation the criminal case in accordance with Russian and international laws,” the IAC said.

“As for the future cooperation with our Polish colleagues, we are always open both at international forums and on a bilateral basis as we are with many countries,” it said.

The Polish governmental commission has also finished its probe into the accident and sent its findings to Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

Polish authorised representative to the IAC Edmund Klich said the commission’s report was reliable.

At the same time, he admitted that opponents will criticise it and say that there were no certain documents and that report was made on the basis of incomplete data.

However Klich believes that the information obtained by Poland is enough to make a “good report”.

“The quality of the document is important. Everything must be described in detail,” he added.

“The majority of causes of the tragedy are on the Polish side. They are in the incorrect training of pilots, the absence of flight simulators, incompliance with certain procedures,” Klich said.

Polish military prosecutors have agreed with the results of the investigation conducted in Moscow together with Russian law enforcement agencies to determine the causes of President Lech Kaczynski’s plane crash near Smolensk in April 2010.

Russia’s Investigation Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin told Itar-Tass, “In accordance with the request for legal assistance from the competent bodies of the Republic of Poland, Lieutenant-Colonel Karol Kopczyk and Major Jaroslaw Sej, prosecutors of the Military District Prosecutor’s Office in Warsaw, Republic of Poland, conducted, together with Russian investigators, a series of substantive and important investigative actions in Moscow from February 1 to February 16, 2011.”

“According to the agreed-upon plan of joint work, officials from the flight control group who received the Polish planes, including the crashed Polish Tu-154M plane, at Smolensk’s Severny Airport on April 10, 2010, as well as other officials who had participated in the organisation and reception of the Polish planes were questioned as witnesses in the presence of the Polish prosecutors in the manner prescribed by the Russian Code of Criminal Procedure,” Markin said.

“The questioning revealed circumstances which are important for determining the truth in the case and which concern the reception of the Polish Tu-154M at Smolensk’s Severny Airport, and answers were received to all the questions posed by the Polish side… the questions fro the Polish side concerned mainly the qualification of the air traffic controllers, the preparation of the airport for the reception of the Polish plane, actions and decisions undertaken by the flight control group upon the arrival of the Polish and Russian planes on April 10, 2010,” Markin said.

“Based on the results of the joint work, the two sides noted that all of the scheduled investigative activities were carried out in full and questions that may arise during joint work both from the Russian investigators in the Republic of Poland and the Polish prosecutors in the Russian Federation were discussed,” he said.

The Tu-154 plane carrying an official Polish delegation for memorial events at Katyn crashed near the town of Pechersk in the Smolensk region at about 10:50 Moscow time on April 10. All 96 people aboard the plane died, including the Polish president and his wife.


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