Poland: Russian air controllers contributed to 2010 crash


Prosecutors probing the 2010 crash of a Polish presidential plane in western Russia said on Monday they aim to charge Russian air traffic controllers with intentionally causing an air catastrophe.

In 2015, a representative of the Chief Military Prosecutor's Office of Poland said that air controllers were suspected of unintended causing the crash.

On Monday, Polish prosecutors announced they would be pressing charges against two Russian air traffic controllers for their alleged role in a plane crash - and not just any plane crash.

Polish investigators said they want to question the three Russians and can not reveal details about the evidence until they have spoken to them.

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In addition to former president Lech Kaczynski - the twin brother of PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski - many senior state officials including the central banker and military chief of staff died when the plane came down in Smolensk, western Russian Federation on April 10, 2010.

Spokesman of Russian President Dmitry Peskov commented on this statement saying that "it is impossible to accept such findings". The disaster occurred when the Polish crew tried to land in heavy fog at a rarely used airport near Smolensk, Russia. However, the country's current Law and Justice party government, led by Kaczynski's twin brother Jarosław, has said the crash may have been caused by an explosion on board. "Prime Minister Donald Tusk made an illegal deal with [Russian president] Vladimir Putin to harm Poland, and it should be a matter of criminal liability", he said.

The previous Polish government's report indicated that Smolensk traffic controllers unintentionally contributed to the crash, charges Moscow had dismissed as false.

Some critics said they consider allegations against the Russians as a sign that a commission headed by Macierewicz that is investigating the tragedy has not uncovered anything new.

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There were two major investigations into the crash separately carried out by Poland and Russian Federation.

The Polish investigation blamed the disaster on a combination of factors, including bad weather and errors made by a pilot who was not adequately trained on the plane he was flying, a Tupolev-154.

The Russians at the time put all the blame on Poland. But that report stopped short of accusing the Russians of intentional wrongdoing.

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