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Donald Tusk to Face More Questions Over Smolensk Air Tragedy

Poland’s chief of military counterintelligence says the agency may have had improper ties to Russia’s FSB during Tusk’s premiership.

16 May 2017

European Council President Donald Tusk (pictured) will undergo a second round of questioning in Poland as a witness in an investigation into the plane crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others in 2010.

 

Polish prosecutors yesterday said they had summoned Tusk for questioning on 5 July, according to The Associated Press.

 

Public broadcaster Radio Poland cites a spokesperson for the prosecution as saying the investigation focuses on whether Polish officials were negligent in not asking Russian authorities to allow a Polish team to conduct autopsies on the crash victims. Tusk was Poland's prime minister at the time. The plane carrying Kaczynski and dozens of high officials and military officers to a joint Russian-Polish commemoration of the Soviet massacre of Polish officers during World War II crashed as it tried to land in Smolensk in April 2010.

 

Previous probes have blamed the crash on pilot error compounded by the lack of an up to date radar at the Smolensk airport, but the current, nationalist ruling Law and Justice party, headed by the late president’s brother Jaroslaw, has mooted various conspiracy theories involving the liberal Tusk, long the Kaczynskis’ main political foe.

 

Crowds of supporters greeted Tusk as he arrived in Warsaw on 19 April for questioning in an investigation of possible cooperation between Polish counterintelligence and Russia’s FSB during his administration.

 

"I have no doubt that this is part of a political witch-hunt," Tusk said of the probe, the BBC reported, citing AFP.

 

On 18 April, Polish Military Counterintelligence Service (SKW) head Piotr Baczek said information relating to the planning of the 2010 presidential flight to Smolensk had been handed to prosecutors.

 

Baczek told Polish Radio that cooperation between the SKW and FSB had been of an official nature prior to the plane crash, but later became "a service within an alliance agreement.”

 

 

  • Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said in March that Tusk may have committed “diplomatic treason” by failing to secure Poland’s participation in the investigation of the crash and the return of the wreckage from Russia.

 

  • Polish experts concluded in 2011 that up to 90 percent of the medical records for crash victims compiled by Russian experts were wrong. Exhumations showed that parts of six bodies had been placed in the wrong graves, Radio Poland says.

Compiled by Ky Krauthamer

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