Claims that ‘traces of explosives’ had been found on the wreckage of the plane which crashed at Smoleńsk in April 2010 killing the Polish president have been withdrawn after the military prosecutor in Poland told journalists that it was ‘simply not true’.
The newspaper Rzeczpospolita grabbed the headlines the world over with its claim that Polish investigators had discovered the explosives – sparking a fresh political row in Poland. But Colonel Ireneusz Szeląg, speaking at a press conference in Warsaw, said: “Traces of explosives were not found.”
Mr Szeląg admitted that some elements used in TNT had been discovered, but that these elements were also common to many other things. He went further, stating that there was no evidence to suggest that the plane crashed as a result of an assassination.
Rzeczpospolita withdrew its claim, but not before the leaders of Poland’s government and opposition parties had engaged in a war of words.
Jarosław Kaczyński, head of Law and Justice (PiS) and brother of the late president Lech Kaczyński, said in the immediate aftermath of the report: “the murder of 96 people, including the Polish president and other distinguished representatives of public life, is an unheard of crime.”
Prime Minister Donald Tusk (Civic Platform – PO) responded by saying: “It’s hard to imagine a public life in Poland, where the leader of the opposition makes accusations of crimes made by the state and uses the explicit wording of crime, murder and participation of the Polish government.”
- Smoleńsk crash – memorial delay (krakowpolska.wordpress.com)