Russia delaying probe into Kaczynski crash: Polish official

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Russia is delaying sending information to Warsaw about the results of its probe into the April 10 air crash which killed Polish president Lech Kaczynski, according to a senior Polish official.

"The problems have begun. The Russians don't want to make materials available," Poland's top investigator in the case Edmund Klich said, quoted in the Monday edition of Poland's leading Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

At issue are documents which could confirm or exclude the role played in the crash landing that claimed the lives of all 96 passengers by Russian air traffic controllers and technical equipment at the remote and unsophisticated airport in Smolensk, western Russia, according to the daily.

According to Gazeta, Klich recently sent a "sharp" complaint over the delays to Russian official Tatiana Anodina, chairwoman of the Russian-led Interstate Aviation Committee investigating the crash.

"Russia is delaying sending information on the causes of the catastrophe to Polish prosecutors and a flight accident commission of inquiry," Gazeta Wyborcza reported Monday, quoting unnamed Polish and Russian sources.

Poland's Prosecutor General Andrzej Seremet said last week that Warsaw was still waiting for Russian justice officials to reply to Polish requests for information concerning the case and that he hoped it would arrive in August.

More than three months after the crash, Polish justice officials have yet not ruled out any possible cause.

Lech Kaczynski, his wife and 94 other Polish dignitaries were killed when the Russian-made Tupolev 154 Polish presidential jet crashed on landing in bad weather in western Russia.

The delegation was en route to ceremonies marking 70 years since the massacre of thousands of Polish officers by Soviet secret police at the nearby Katyn forest during World War II.

The president's death forced a snap election on July 4 in which his twin stood against liberal Bronislaw Komorowski, who won the vote.

© 2010 AFP

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