Russia to unveil final report on Polish air crash

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The Moscow-based aviation commission was on Wednesday to unveil the final version of a report into the April air crash that killed Polish president Lech Kaczynski amid claims in Warsaw that Russia's probe is riddled with errors.

Polish president 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.

Poland and its Soviet-era master Russia have had uneasy relations since the demise of communism and the collapse of the Soviet Union 20 years ago but Poles were struck by the level of public and official mourning in Russia following the tragedy.

But the crash and subsequent investigation have soon become highly politicised, with Poland sharply criticising Russia's handling of the crash probe.

After initially praising Moscow's cooperation, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk changed tack, 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 and has made efforts to be open to the media. It handed Warsaw an initial 200-page report of its findings in October.

Earlier this month Poland's ambassador to Russia Wojciech Zajaczkowski called for Moscow to return the wreckage of its presidential plane as soon as possible.

The Polish presidential Russian-made Tupolev-154 crashed as it landed for a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of a World War II massacre of around 22,000 captured Polish officers by the Soviet secret police.

To further add to tensions surrounding the probe, Kaczynski's twin brother and ex-prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski said he doubted that a body entombed in a Polish cathedral was that of his brother.

The inter-state aviation commission known in Russia by its acronym MAK was to start a news conference at 0900 GMT.

© 2011 AFP

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