The head of the commission set up to investigate the causes of the Smoleńsk air crash has confirmed that the Polish government ‘never had nor wanted’ controversial photographs of wreckage and corpses, which have emerged on the internet and provoked a bitter war of words between Poland and Russia.
Jerzy Miller told a press conference that only medical post mortem reports were of interest to his committee. Pictures of bodies mutilated in the crash, including the remains of the late Polish president Lech Kaczyński, were ‘not useful’, he added.
Mr Miller said: “The commission does not have such pictures, and never sought the photos, which showed the bodies of those who died… I never saw these images and I’m not going to see them, and I will not comment on them.”
The photographs emerged on the Livejournal blog of ‘gorojanin iz b’, the pen name of Siberian 51-year-old married man Anton Sizycha. The blog has been linked to journalist and psychologist Tatiana Karatsuba, a graduate of the Russian State Services Academy, which is closely linked to the Russian presidential office. Ms Karatsuba is know to have worked at institutions in Europe and America, which were used by the Russian security services as cover for KGB operations and officers in the west. However, Mr Sizycha has since told the Polish Press Agency (PAP) that the pictures’ providence was never of interest to him.
Poland requested that Russia launched an investigation into the source of the photographs, claiming that they may have been leaked from an official Russian source. Mr Miller’s press conference appeared to firm up the Polish government’s stance, that it had not and could not have been involved in the publication of the photographs.
The Polish Air Force TU-154 crashed en route to a memorial ceremony at Katyń, on April 10, 2010. On board were the president, Lech Kaczyński, his wife Anna, and top-ranking political and military figures.
Read more on KrakówPolska:
- Moscow opens investigation of Polish air crash internet photos (rt.com)
- Poland summons Russian ambassador over plane crash victims’ photos (news.terra.com)
- Polish family claims Russia ‘mixed up’ remains of Smolensk victims (telegraph.co.uk)