Poland wants to quiz Russian controllers over crash

26th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Polish prosecutors said Wednesday that they wanted to question the air traffic controllers from Russia's Smolensk airport, where Poland's president died in a plane crash last April.

"We have made a request to be able to question the Russian controllers as witnesses," Colonel Zbigniew Rzepa, spokesman for the military prosecutor's office, told AFP.

Poland condemned a report released this month by Russia into the crash, in which all 96 people on Kaczynski's official jet died after it tried to land in fog near the western city of Smolensk.

A Russian investigation blamed the lack of training of the Polish pilots.

It also said they were under pressure to land despite the bad weather so as not to miss the high-profile World War II memorial ceremony to which the delegation was heading.

But Warsaw has charged that Russian investigators overlooked any mistakes by the controllers or technical flaws at the airport.

Beyond the accident investigation itself, both Russian and Polish prosecutors are investigating whether anyone can be held criminally responsible for the disaster.

© 2011 AFP

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