Russian crash report makes 'mockery' of Poland: Kaczynski

12th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the identical twin of late Polish president Lech Kaczynski who died in an April air crash in Russia, on Wednesday slammed Moscow's inquiry into the accident as a "mockery".

"The report makes a mockery of Poland," Kaczynski told reporters after Russian investigators in Moscow presented their findings earlier Wednesday blaming the crew and other occupants of the presidential plane.

"This is the result of leaving the investigation in the hands of the Russians," Kaczynski, who is also the leader of Poland's conservative opposition, said.

"The report blames Polish pilots and Poland without proof in a unilateral fashion. Many questions remain unanswered," he added.

"I didn't hear anything today that would rule out or confirm the hypothesis of an assassination," Kaczynski remarked. Conspiracy theories that a plot was behind the crash have circulated among Kaczynski supporters.

Senior Polish crash investigator Edmund Klich on Wednesday also accused Tatiana Anodina, who steered the Russian probe, of "lying about free access for Polish experts to all the activities in the investigation."

Russian investigators on Wednesday blamed Polish failures for the plane crash that killed Lech Kaczynski, revealing that top officials put pressure on inexperienced pilots to land in dangerous weather.

Lech Kaczynski died with 95 others when his presidential jet crashed on April 10, 2010, as it attempted to land in fog near the city of Smolensk in northwestern Russia, ahead of a high-profile World War II memorial ceremony.

In a damning report listing Polish shortcomings that risks sparking new tensions with Warsaw, the Russian probe included audio evidence that two top officials entered the cockpit to pressure pilots to land the plane as they did not want to annoy the president.

Anodina also said Wednesday that the Polish pilots had lacked sufficient training and ignored repeated advice from air traffic control to land elsewhere.

A spokesman for Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk said he would cut short a holiday in Italy to return to Warsaw for consultations on the Russian report on Thursday.

© 2011 AFP

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