Polish probe alleges 'tampering' in Russia air crash

2016-09-15 21:01
The coffin of Polish President Lech Kaczynski carried by Polish honour guards during a farewell ceremony at the Smolensk airport. (File, Alexei Nikolsky

The coffin of Polish President Lech Kaczynski carried by Polish honour guards during a farewell ceremony at the Smolensk airport. (File, Alexei Nikolsky (Alexei Nikolsky)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Warsaw - Polish investigators, who have been re-examining what caused a 2010 air crash in Russia that killed then president Lech Kaczynski and 95 others, alleged on Thursday that someone had tampered with the black boxes in the original probe.

The new investigation was launched by the governing right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party, which swept back to power in October after eight years in opposition and whose leader is the twin brother of the late president.

PiS politicians have long insisted the presidential jet crash was no accident, even though both Polish and Russian investigators found that pilot error, bad weather and poor air traffic control were to blame.

Most of the others who died when the plane came down in Smolensk, western Russia were senior Polish state officials, including its military chief of staff and central banker.

"Some of the elements were tampered with," commission of inquiry head Waclaw Berczynski told reporters on Thursday.

His colleague Kazimierz Nowaczyk alleged that three seconds had been cut from one of the black box recordings, while five seconds were deleted from the other.

The commission members outlined information they claimed showed that there had been bias in the original Polish investigation led by then interior minister Jerzy Miller.

They played a recording at the news conference on which they said Miller could be heard instructing someone to match the Polish report to the Russian one so that the public would not think "we are hiding something" and to "prevent myths from being formed".

Also at the press conference was Frank Taylor, a British aviation expert who took part in the investigation of the 1988 Pan-Am flight that was brought down by a bomb over the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

Pointing to weaknesses in the original Polish probe, he alleged that satellite photos showed that wreckage had been moved after the crash.

A 2015 Polish opinion poll found that 22% of respondents believed the crash was an assassination.

Read more on:    poland  |  russia  |  air crashes

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.