Source: telewizjarepublika.pl, fakt.pl
Photo: Wojciech Olkunik Agencja Gazeta
SCND: January 9, 2016
With respect to as many as 50 victims of the Smolensk Crash, the Polish prosecutors challenge the accuracy of the autopsy reports and medical records prepared by the Russian pathologists in Moscow. So far, the investigation was conducted in conjunction with 29 such cases.
Based on independent expertise, the Polish experts claim that the Russian pathologists in many cases bypass the injuries the victims of the crash actually received and wrote down those that did not take place. These circumstances allow to suspect falsification of medical documentations by the representatives of the Russian services dealing with the autopsy of the victims of the Smolensk crash.
According to reports by the RMF FM radio, the Polish prosecutors plan to make a further request for legal assistance to the Russians. They also plan to interview 25 Russian pathologists. A request to this effect remains unanswered by Moscow. The next request in this case is to be issued once the full scale of these irregularities is determined. So far serious irregularities have been identified in the autopsy reports of 50 victims. Medical opinions regarding another 18 victims are still to be received.
In the plane crash at Smolensk on 10 April 2010, 96 people were killed, including President Lech Kaczynski, his wife, senior government officials and military commanders. Upon returning of the bodies of the victims to Poland, the families were forbidden to open the caskets before the burial. Due to desperate protest of the family members, between June 2011 and November 2012 the Prosecutor's Office conducted nine exhumations of the victims of this disaster. As a result of these exhumations, it was concluded that bodies of six victims were buried in the wrong graves. According to the Polish prosecutors, these exhumations were supervised by three research centers. The autopsies focused exclusively on the identification of the bodies and did not deal with the cause of death of the victims. Dr. Michael Baden, a US prominent pathologist who represented the families of the victims whose bodies were exhumed, was prevented from taking part in the autopsies, thus was unable to determine the cause of death of the exhumed bodies.
With respect to the remaining 87 victims of the disaster prosecutors asked the Department of Forensic Medicine at the Medical University of Wroclaw for medical opinions. These opinions were issued on the basis of an analysis of documentation - both autopsy documents received from Russia, as well as medical documents gathered by the Polish prosecution relating to the people who died in the crash.
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Already during the first night of the crash, the Russians were removing the most important pieces of evidence from the crash site, that is, the remains of the Polish President’s Tupolev, TU-154M. Parts of the aircraft were transported away without any prior planning, and some of them were purposefully destroyed. Read more here
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The trip to Smolensk was expected to highlight Russia finally admitting culpability in the massacre, after long having blamed it on the Germans, an atrocity they had tried to conceal for over 70 years.
As for the reception committee, it had different ideas. Putin wasn’t looking forward to such an occasion. Into this poisonous reception brew was President Kaczynski’s well-known public criticism of Moscow and Putin, a habit that has ended the lives of others within Russia – and abroad. A few discouraging Russian requirements – that Kaczynski could not attend in any official capacity – did not halt the Poles. Kaczynski would go anyway on non-official, “personal” business. To Russians, such a distinction would be meaningless, not lessening the possible international excoriation of such an event. A problem ripe for a modern, Russian solution: a tragic, ‘natural’ accident.
World-renowned forensic pathologist goes on the record: "I have been doing autopsies for 50 years, and I've investigated more than fifteen, twenty airplane crashes […] I've been in countries all over the world where families think that the government is hiding something. Whether it is Zimbabwe or Israel, or Philippines, the government may not like an outside person checking to make sure they got it right. [But,] they never interfered with that. The family, the next of kin, always has the right to do what the wishes of the family are. In the 21st century, the body of the dead person no longer belongs to the state. It belongs to the family. So, it is unusual - something that I have never experienced before - where the government [of Poland] has not permitted the famil[ies]" to conduct independent forensic examinations of their loved ones' remains [...] I've never heard of a body coming back to a country and the family being unable to open up a casket. I've never heard of the family not being able to get an autopsy… Read more here
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