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Smolensk survivors evidence 'not strong enough for report' admits MP

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 12.04.2013 11:10
An opposition spokesman has admitted that alleged evidence that three people secretly survived the Smolensk air disaster in April 2010 is “not strong enough to put in a report”.
Лидер оппозиционной партии Ярослав Качинский и Антони Мацеревич Лидер оппозиционной партии Ярослав Качинский и Антони Мацеревич PAP

PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski with Antoni Macierewicz presenting report on alleged causes of Smolensk disaster. The report did not include claim that three survived the crash: photo - PAP/Grzegorz Jakubowski

On the third anniversary of the disaster this week, Law and Justice (PiS) MP Antoni Macierewicz claimed that reports that all 96 who were on board the doomed TU-154 aeroplane, including Polish president Lech Kaczynski, were killed on the spot in western Russia were incorrect.

Macierewcz astounded journalists by claiming that three people had actually survived the crash near Smolensk military airport and were “taken away in an ambulance”.

Asked why Macierewicz had not included this revelation in his latest parliamentary report on the disaster – which Law and Justice claim was due to foul play and not simply pilot error, as both official Polish and Russian investigations concluded – PiS MP Adam Hofman told the TVN 24 news station on Thursday: “I talked to Macierewicz about this issue and he believes there is evidence from witnesses but it is not strong enough to put in the report”.

Hofman said that the “eye witness” reports would be the basis for further investigations, however.

Antoni Macierewicz, who leads an opposition parliamentary committee on the Smolensk disaster, also claimed this week that an explosion on board the plane “at an altitude of 100 metres” was responsible for the disaster, which killed Lech Kaczynski, twin brother of Law and Justice leader and former prime minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski.

The latest allegations by the conservative Law and Justice party are meant to strengthen their claim that President Kaczynski was assassinated.

Three years on, the Smolensk disaster continues to be deeply divisive in Poland with one-in-three Poles telling opinion pollsters they do not believe official accounts of the causes of the crash.

The Polish government has continually rejected the allegations as being nonsense.

Julia Pitera, MP for the ruling Civic Platform party, told Radio Zet, Friday morning, that she is waiting for “Macierewicz to suddenly claim that he is, in fact, Napoleon Bonaparte”. (pg)

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