German Prosecution began preliminary investigation into the Smolensk Crash.
SCND May 30, 2015
PHOTO by Faktysmolensk.gov.pl
WPolityce.pl portal reports that German Federal Prosecutor Office has initiated a preliminary investigation into the April 10, 2010, Smolensk Crash, in order to establish whether the crash was an assassination. The grounds for the investigation are BND (the German Federal Intelligence Service) files; in particular a report confirming that the cause of the crash was an explosion on board. The German prosecution has issued a formal notification of its action to the attorney Stefan Hambura, who represents several families of the Smolensk crash victims.
The investigation was initiated as a monitoring process (in German: Beobachtungsvorgang), a procedure that also exists in the Polish law. The last time the German authorities initiated this legal process, was in the case of the fugitive Edward Snowden, who claimed that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone was tapped. [See: Snowden, Manning, and the Next Leak]
The Beobachtungsvorgang allows the prosecution to follow any necessary procedures, such as questioning witnesses, requesting relevant documentation and appealing for legal aid to the authorities of other countries in order to verify suspicions of assassination.
Pursuant to articles 89a and 89b in German Criminal Code, Germany has the authority to investigate any event suspected of being a terrorist act (i.e. committed by secret services of another country), even if the victims are not German. This regulation provides the grounds for the German prosecution to investigate whether or not, the Smolensk crash was an act of terrorism.
The German legal action regarding Smolensk began after May 2, when attorney Stefan Hambura issued a request to Angela Merkel for a disclosure of the complete BND Smolensk Crash files. The attorney sent a copy of this request to a number of other German officials as well, including Harald Range, the Attorney General of Germany.
The existence of the BND files regarding the Smolensk Crash came to light in the “Secret Files S,” a book by a German investigative journalist, Jürgen Roth. In his book, Roth writes about a report written by a BND agent, who obtained information from two independent intelligence sources (Polish and Russian), who did not know about one another. The author writes that the assassination of the TU-154 presidential flight passengers was carried out jointly by Russian secret services and Polish authorities. Read excerpts from Roth's book here.
Soon after the request was issued to the Chancellor Merkel, Stefan Hambura received a phone call from a highly ranked prosecutor Zöller, from the German Prosecutor General Office. Mr. Hambura said - “He asked me, if I expected access to the files I requested from the Chancellor Merkel, and if I had any other requests. I said, I did not expect the BND files (which can be given out only by the German Chancellery), but my request would be that the Smolensk Crash be investigated in accordance with the German criminal law.”
A few days ago Hambura met a Federal Minister of Justice, whom he handed a copy of Roth’s book, and mentioned that the newly elected president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, was a minister in late President Lech Kaczyński’s Presidential Office. “The reason I mentioned it, is because I hope that Germany would notice the change on the Polish political scene. This change can already be noticed in the Polish-German relation considering the latest message of good wishes to President Duda, sent by Chancellor Merkel".
The German investigative authorities’ actions contrast strongly with the actions of the Polish Military Prosecution Office, which, soon after Roth’s book publication, announced that it would apply for legal aid to Germany. [See: "The Dutch Lesson, A Tale of Two Crashes and Two Investigations"] When Wpolityce.pl inquired whether it had been done, Major Marcin Maksjan, the spokesman of the Chief Military Prosecution Office, responded: “The Warsaw District Military Prosecution Office has not yet issued a request to Germany regarding the latest book by the German journalist, Jürgen Roth.”
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.
Early morning on April 10, 2010, the Polish Governmental Airplane Tu-154M (“Polish Air Force One”) departed from Warsaw, Poland, to Smolensk, Russia, carrying on board the highest level delegation of the Republic of Poland for the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre. The official delegation consisted of the President of Poland, First Lady, all members of the Central Command of the Polish Armed Forces, parliamentary, government and Church officials, and representatives of the families of the Katyn victims. Upon entering the airspace of the Military Airdrome “Severny” in Smolensk, Russia, the Polish pilot made one reconnaissance approach to landing. At the decision altitude, he chose not to land and issued a command to “go around.” Seconds later, the Polish Air Force One crashed. The entire Polish delegation of the highest level perished less than a mile from the Severny Airdrome in Smolensk, Russia. All 96 people on board were killed; there were no survivors ("Smolensk Crash").
While some Russian intellectuals and people in Central and Eastern Europe are alarmed by the Russian imperialistic ambitions of building “a new world order,” the West is utterly confused. In order to properly understand and evaluate the threat that Russia poses today, an unhindered analysis of the Russian behavior over the past decade is necessary. Unfortunately, due to the omnipresent policy of reset that forced Western media to abandon in-depth reporting on Russian hostility towards its neighbors, critical developments that took place in the regions bordering Russia over the past decade have not been reported at all or only favorably to Russia.
Among such key events is the political situation in Poland since 2007, with its central event - the crash of the Polish Air Force One in Smolensk, Russia, in April of 2010 that claimed the lives of the President of Poland, the entire Central Command of the Polish Armed Forces, and the patriotic leadership of the Polish society. Any analysis of the political context of this crash as well as any discussion of the problems with the investigation into this tragedy have been systematically suppressed by the Western media in order not to upset Russia. Consequently, the lack of knowledge about Russian behavior in connection with the Smolensk tragedy impairs judgment of the American public on current Russian behavior in Ukraine and elsewhere.
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