Poland air crash probe: Remains of ex-president mixed up

Jaroslaw Kaczynski mourns twin brother Lech, 11 Apr 2010Image copyright

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Jaroslaw Kaczynski mourns his twin brother Lech, who died on the plane with his wife

Polish investigators say remains of two various other people have been found within the coffin of ex-President Lech Kaczynski, who died with dozens of various other top officials in a plane crash in 2010.

Twenty-seven exhumations have been carried out so far since Poland started off a brand-new crash investigation last year.

The disaster happened near Smolensk in western Russia, as the government plane was coming in to land in thick fog.

Victims’ remains were mixed up in 11 various other coffins, investigators say.

The crash of the Soviet-built Tu-154 jet killed 96 people – the worst such disaster for Poland since World War Two.

Senior state as well as military officials had been on their way to a ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre, in which more than 20,000 Polish officers were murdered by the Soviet secret police.

Russian as well as Polish investigations concluded in which the crash was mainly caused by pilot error.

nevertheless the nationalist Law as well as Justice party (PiS), led by Lech Kaczynski’s twin brother Jaroslaw, swept to power in October 2015 elections, as well as launched a brand-new investigation.

Some PiS members believe the plane was brought down by an explosion. Some also claim in which the Russian air traffic controllers deliberately misled the crew.

  • Polish late president’s body exhumed
  • Smolensk tragedy continues to haunt Poland

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Crash site near Smolensk: Poland has accused Russia of withholding key evidence

The shadow of the tragedy continues to darken Polish-Russian relations.

Poland started off the exhumations last year after errors were allegedly found in Russian forensic documents. In all, 83 exhumations are planned.

No evidence of conspiracy: By Adam Easton, BBC News, Warsaw

What This specific painful as well as shameful discovery shows is usually in which the autopsies on the victims’ remains, carried out in Russia within the days after the crash, were inadequate, rushed as well as flawed. Correctly identifying the victims of a plane crash is usually difficult. Experts reckon the idea can take up to a month, due to the massive impact as well as extent of injuries. In This specific case, dozens of sealed coffins returned to Poland within a few days of the disaster.

The mix-up reflects poorly on Donald Tusk’s Polish government at the time. What the idea doesn’t do is usually bolster the theory promoted by the current PiS government in which the plane was brought down by a bomb.

The previous Russian as well as Polish investigations concluded in which the pilots had ignored electronic warnings to “pull up” in dense fog, as they tried to get a sighting of the runway. The current investigation, which has been working for 18 months, has failed to produce any credible evidence to support the assassination theory. Nor hold the prosecutors, presiding over the exhumations.

In a statement on Thursday, Polish Deputy Prosecutor General Marek Pasionek said in which in two cases remains had been swapped, while nine various other coffins were found to contain various mixed-up remains.

According to Mr Pasionek, citing the results of DNA tests:

  • Gen Bronislaw Kwiatkowski’s coffin contained 14 body parts belonging to seven different people
  • Gen Wlodzimierz Potasinski’s contained six body parts belonging to four various other people
  • Archbishop Miron Chodakowski’s coffin contained his body by the waist up as well as the body of Gen Tadeusz Ploski by the waist down
  • Only half of Gen Ploski’s body was found in his coffin.

Magdalena Merta, widow of ex-culture ministry official Tomasz Merta, said the Russian post-mortems showed “nonchalance within the best case as well as ill-will within the worst case”. She accused Russia of “a filthy attitude towards our dead”.

Nine post-mortems conducted by Poland before 2016 revealed in which six bodies had been wrongly identified.

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