No technical fault in Polish president's crash: probe

26th July 2011, Comments 0 comments

No technical faults were logged by the black boxes of Poland's presidential jet, which crashed in Russia last year killing head of state Lech Kaczynski, investigators said Tuesday.

"There is no information in the on-board recorders that shows there was a technical anomaly of any kind," Ireneusz Szlag, spokesman for Poland's military prosecutor's office, told reporters.

Kaczynski, his wife and dozens of other high-profile Poles died when the presidential Tupolev 154 crashed on April 10, 2010 crash in Smolensk, western Russia.

There were no survivors among the 96 people on board.

Chief prosecutor Krzysztof Parulski said Tuesday that charges related to the crash would be brought against members of the Polish military, but declined to give details.

Sources familiar with the investigation said they may include the flight's organisers and those responsible for training Poland's military pilots.

A Russian crash report issued in January pinned the blame squarely on the Poles, saying the pilots brought about the tragedy by insisting on landing in fog.

That has led to blame-trading between Warsaw and Moscow, with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk faulting the Russian findings.

A Polish government report on the crash is due to be released later this week.

Poland's conservative Law and Justice party -- led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski the late president's twin brother -- has accused Tusk's centre-right government of failing to take Russia to task.

A Law and Justice-run parliamentary commission is also probing the crash.

Last month, the commission's leader Antoni Macierewicz blamed Russia squarely, claiming it had forged the testimony of Smolensk's air traffic controllers, who he alleged had misled the pilots.

Adding an extra layer of sensitivity to the wrangling is the fact that the delegation had been bound for a memorial ceremony in nearby Katyn for thousands of Polish captives slain by the Soviet secret police in 1940, a massacre denied by the Kremlin until 1990.

© 2011 AFP

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