: Reports surface in Polish media about Russia's alleged replacement of Smolensk crash victims' bodies

17:11 Apr. 8, 2016

Reports surface in Polish media about Russia's alleged replacement of Smolensk crash victims' bodies

Emergency ministry workers prepare to load the wreckage of the Polish presidential plane onto a transporter just outside the Smolensk airport, western Russia, Apr. 14, 2010 (AP Photo)

‘Gazeta Polska': Donald Tusk could have possibly known about the replacement 

Reports in Polish media state Russia could have possibly replaced the bodies of several victims of the Smolensk airplane crash; the catastrophe which killed the Polish high-rank officials as well as the former President of Poland in exile Ryszard Kaczorowski.

According to "Gazeta Polska", Russia allegedly put someone else's remains in Kaczorowski's coffin. Investigative journalists suspect that Polish Prime Minister at the time Donald Tusk could have possibly known about it. However, this information never reached the ex-President's family, and the exhumation of the body was blocked.

The journalists claim other Polish officials at the time also had to know about the replacement. Reports state the authorities were informed by the Polish ambassador to Moscow, who heard about it from a Russian Prosecutor's general investigator.

Read also Polish defence minister hints at terrorism in 2010 plane crash

The investigator told the ambassador the DNA probe did not confirm the remains in Kaczorowski's coffin "really belonged to the ex-President". Several other bodies also failed to match the identity of the crash victims.

The catastrophe of the Polish aircraft happened in a Russian city of Smolensk on April 10, 2010. All 96 passengers aboard died, including the Polish President Lech Kaczynski, chief of the state's general staff and Members of Parliament. They were flying to attend an event which marked the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre. Russian investigators concluded that pilot error was the cause of the crash.

Watch also Poland re-launches inquiry into Smolensk plane crash

Polish officials expressed doubts regarding this conclusion. In early 2016 they re-launched the inquiry into the crash. On March 14, the Polish Minister of Defence Antoni Macierewicz released a statement . He called the catastrophe a terrorist attack, avoiding direct accusations towards anyone in particular.

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