Poland's Kaczynski doubts body in tomb is presidential twin

20th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

A body entombed in a Polish cathedral may not be that of president Lech Kaczynski, killed in a plane crash in Russia in April, his identical twin ex-prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said Monday.

"I won't hide the fact that I recognised the body of my brother at the airport" in Smolensk, just hours after the April 10 disaster in the northwestern Russian city, Kaczynski told reporters.

"But when I saw the body that was brought back in a coffin to Poland, that person did not look like my brother. I was told it was him," he said.

Kaczynski, leader of Poland's conservative opposition, said he had yet to decide whether to seek an exhumation from the tomb in the Wawel cathedral in the southern city of Krakow, the last resting place of several iconic Poles.

Poland's presidential jet crashed as it tried to land in fog for a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of a massacre of around 22,000 captured Polish officers by the Soviet secret police during World War II.

Besides Lech Kaczynski and his wife, the 96 victims of the crash included senior Polish lawmakers, military top brass and relatives of the wartime massacre victims.

The crash has become highly politicised.

The Kaczynski twins' conservatives have gone as far as saying Poland's liberal-led government bears moral responsibility for the tragedy, citing disagreements over travel arrangements between the late president and his arch-rival Prime Minister Donald Tusk.

They have also accused the government of not calling Moscow to account over alleged failings in the crash probe, which under international law is being steered by Russia.

After praising Moscow's cooperation, Tusk changed tack sharply last week, calling the draft findings of the Russian investigation unacceptable and riddled with errors.

Russia has stressed that it is handing over full information to Poland.

© 2010 AFP

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