Ex-official convicted over 2010 Polish presidential jet crash
PR dla Zagranicy
A former head of the Polish Prime Minister’s Office was on Thursday given a 10-month suspended jail term for negligence in planning a 2010 flight that resulted in the death of the country's president and 95 others.
The crashed Polish presidential plane near Smolensk, western Russia, in 2010. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Bartosz Staszewski, PRS Team.net. (CC BY-SA 2.5)
The April 10, 2010 crash of the Polish jet near Smolensk, western Russia, killed then-President Lech Kaczyński and dozens of top military and political figures.
It caused shock, mourning and suspicions among many in Poland over the cause of the disaster.
Tomasz Arabski was the head of the office of Donald Tusk, who was prime minister at the time of the crash. Arabski was accused of failings over the way the presidential flight was organised.
A district court in Warsaw on Thursday handed Arabski a 10-month jail term, suspended for two years, for failing to carry out his duties.
Another former official in the Prime Minister’s Office was handed a sentence of six months, suspended for a year.
Three others accused over the crash – an official from the Prime Minister’s Office and two employees of the Polish embassy in Moscow – were acquitted.
The 2010 crash scarred the national psyche and is still a source of controversy and recrimination in Poland.
The head of a Polish commission reinvestigating the crash said in April that a probe had shown those on board died as a result of an explosion.
Poland’s ruling conservatives have long challenged an official report into the causes of the disaster issued by the Tusk government, which cited a catalogue of errors on the Polish side, while also pointing to errors made by Russian staff at the control tower of Smolensk Military Airport.
A Russian report placed all the blame on the Poles.
Russian President Vladimir Putin at the end of 2017 denied Polish suggestions that the 2010 air crash was the result of a Russian conspiracy.
Russia has refused to return the wreckage of the presidential plane to Poland, claiming that it is continuing to investigate the crash.