Military Lawyer Shoots Self at Press Conference

Polish colonel probing plane crash tells reporters: 'I need a break'
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2012 12:06 AM CST

A Polish military lawyer calmly, with a smile on his face, defended an investigation into a plane crash—then asked reporters to leave and shot himself in the face. Though journalists filed out, cameras were still rolling as Col. Mikolaj Przybyl rises from a table and steps out of the frame in the video. He can be heard cocking a gun, and a shot rings out. Reporters race back in to find him face down, bleeding. One says: "Don't record it, but help." Another responds: "How do you want us to help?" Przybyl was rushed to a local hospital and is expected to survive, reports ABC News.

Przybyl is the head of a prosecutors department investigating organized crime in the army. His department was probing last year's crash of the presidential plane in Russia that killed the Polish president. Press reports accused the unit of breaking the law during the probe by spying on reporters to find the source of media leaks. “I have never discredited the Republic of Poland, and with all firmness I will defend the honor of a Polish army officer and prosecutor," Pzybyl declared shortly before the shooting. He then asked reporters to step outside because he needed a "break." Critics suspect his action indicates massive corruption in the military (More Poland stories.)

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