Polish president’s brush with danger probed
PR dla Zagranicy
Prosecutors and security services are probing whether anyone is to blame for putting Polish President Andrzej Duda in harm’s way after his limousine veered off a motorway and skidded into a ditch after a tyre burst.
The moment President Andrzej Duda's car (left) veered off the road, as captured by a car camera in a vehicle heading in the opposite direction. Image distributed by PAP
Duda was unhurt in the incident on Friday on the A4 motorway in southern Poland.
But his brush with danger brought back uncomfortable memories of the 2010 air disaster in western Russia which killed Poland’s then-president Lech Kaczyński, along with 95 others aboard his plane.
According to press reports, the head of Poland’s military counter-intelligence has ordered all cars used by the defence ministry and heads of the armed forces to be checked.
Investigators on March 5 examine the A4 motorway, where the Polish president's car veered off the road. Photo: PAP/Brzeg24
Lidia Sieradzka, a spokeswoman for the Prosecutor's Office in the southern town of Opole, said investigators were probing "whether the destruction of the tyre was the result of a blowout... and if so, why; or whether someone could have deliberately caused it."
Interior Minister Mariusz Błaszczak has said the Government Protection Bureau (BOR) is holding its own probe.
Duda has praised the driver of his car, a Government Protection Bureau officer, who managed to control the vehicle so that it did not hit either roadside barriers or cars in the next lane.
However, Duda said the incident should be “examined properly and thoroughly because such things shouldn't happen."
The president's car was on Sunday to be taken to a laboratory at Polish police headquarters in Warsaw for examination.
According to press reports, Duda had been travelling in a PLN 2 million armoured limousine with bulletproof glass and equipped with special wheels that should enable the vehicle to keep going if the tyres are punctured or even hit by a bullet.
The president had been heading to a Polish ski resort. Speaking to private broadcaster TVN, General Marian Janicki, a former Government Protection Bureau chief, asked: “Why were security staff [in the presidential convoy, travelling in winter] in an off-road car, and the president in a passenger car?” (pk)
Source: PAP/TVN/Polish Radio/TVP