Poland: 'No Doubt' 3 Russians Had Hand in President's Death

Prosecutors make allegation after new analysis of evidence in 2010 plane crash
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 3, 2017 12:32 PM CDT
Poland: 'No Doubt' 3 Russians Had Hand in President's Death
FILE - In this file photo dated Oct. 12, 2007, the President of Poland Lech Kaczynski arriving for talks at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany. Polish prosecutors allege Monday April 3, 2017, that a new analysis of evidence into the 2010 plane crash that killed Polish president Lech Kaczynski, shows...   (MARKUS SCHREIBER)

Polish prosecutors allege that a new analysis of evidence from the April 10, 2010, plane crash in Russia that killed the Polish president shows that two Russian air traffic controllers and a third Russian official in the control tower deliberately contributed to the disaster. Poland's National Prosecutor Marek Kuczynski said Monday there is "no doubt" that one of the causes of the crash was their behavior. Vladimir Putin's rep quickly rejected the Polish claims: "The circumstances of this tragedy have been thoroughly studied, and we cannot agree with such conclusions." Polish investigators say they want to question the men and cannot reveal details about the evidence until that happens, reports the AP.

The disaster occurred when the Polish crew tried to land in heavy fog at a rarely used airport near Smolensk, Russia. The plane clipped a tree on its approach and crashed, killing President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others. The tragedy at first united the nation in grief but has since become a highly divisive political issue, pitting liberal Poles against conservative supporters of Kaczynski and his twin brother, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, a former PM who now heads the populist ruling Law and Justice party. Jaroslaw Kaczynski and his allies have made a range of allegations, at times suggesting that there was an explosive device on board that brought the plane down or that Putin ordered the assassination of the Polish leader, who was deeply critical of Russia. Other suggestions have included an unproven claim that the Russians produced fake fog to disorient the pilots. (More Lech Kaczynski stories.)

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