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Polish prosecutors probed over lack of plane crash autopsies

PR dla Zagranicy
Paweł Kononczuk 29.10.2016 21:00
Prosecutors have launched a probe into why autopsies on the victims of the 2010 Polish presidential plane crash were not carried out in this country.
The wreckage of the presidential plane in 2010. Photo: Wikimedia CommonsThe wreckage of the presidential plane in 2010. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The National Prosecutor’s Office said the probe was triggered by “serious errors and omissions committed by prosecutors six years ago,” in the wake of the 10 April 2010 crash in western Russia, which saw the death of 96 people, including then-President Lech Kaczyński.

The National Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement that in 2010 “for inexplicable reasons, the results of autopsies carried out in Moscow, which in fact did not take place, were accepted in good faith.

“Neither were they [the autopsies] carried out after transporting the bodies of victims of the catastrophe to Poland, although that always takes place in the event of the death of a Polish citizen abroad.”

Polish radio station RMF FM has reported that 83 exhumations of victims’ bodies are to be completed by the end of the year.

The exhumations will allow new autopsies to be conducted in order to help investigators determine the cause of victims' deaths and shed more light on the plane crash.

The sarcophagus of Lech Kaczyński and his wife Maria in Wawel Cathedral in Kraków, southern Poland, will be the first to be opened on 14 November, according to the station's sources.

In previous years, nine exhumations have been carried out. Prosecutors later admitted that six bodies had been wrongly identified and consequently buried in the wrong graves.

The Law and Justice (PiS) party, which came to power last year, has reopened a probe into the 2010 plane crash in western Russia.

Some PiS politicians have claimed the presidential plane was brought down by an explosion, and have challenged a report under Poland’s previous government which concluded the crash was an accident.

According to media reports, the bodies of victims will now be tested for traces of explosives.

The families of some of the plane crash victims have opposed the decision to exhume bodies. (pk)

Source: TVP/PAP

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