Investigation of two Officers suspected of neglect in the Smolensk Crash case to be handled in a separate inquiry - announced the Chief Military Prosecutors' office.
SCND: January 26, 2016
“The investigation of two officers from the 36th Special Aviation Regiment, who were suspected of neglecting their duties when organizing the Tu-154 flight to Smolensk, will be conducted separately from the ongoing Smolensk crash investigation,” informed the Chief Military Prosecution Office (NPW).
“This is due to the circumstances preventing a combined investigation of the two cases. Ignoring those circumstances would be against the principles of the Polish judicial system,” explained Major Marcin Maksjan from the NPW.
In August 2011, the two individuals, who, back in 2010, were commanding officers in the 36th Special Aviation Regiment, were charged by the Warsaw’s District Military Prosecution (WPO), which conducts the Smolensk crash investigation. They were charged with dereliction of duty. The charges concerned the appointment and preparation of the flight crew during the organization of the Tu-154 flight to Smolensk. The charged individuals face up to three years in prison.
The WPO modified the charges back in March of 2015. As reported at the time, the modification of these charges was based on the outcomes of the experts’ complex opinion about the causes and course of the Smolensk crash, which was received by the prosecution at that time. The two suspects were charged with dereliction of duty relating to the “analysis of the flight feasibility, assessment of weather conditions and selection of the flight crew.”
Neither of the suspects admitted their guilt and both exercised their right to remain silent. The prosecution did not use preventive measures against them.
“The decision to investigate the case separately from the primary investigation of the Smolensk crash was made in mid-January 2016. The case has been registered with the WPO as a separate investigation,” emphasized Major Maksjan. He also stated that the case files are with a new prosecutor, who was not involved in the Smolensk crash investigation. “At present, the vast documentation is being thoroughly examined by the new prosecutor appointed to this case,” said Major Maksjan, adding that any further decisions will be made after this examination is completed.
The primary Smolensk crash investigation has been extended to April 10, 2016.
In addition to the suspect officers from the 36th Special Aviation Regiment, at the end of March 2015, the Prosecution brought charges against two Russian air traffic controllers from the Smolensk Airport. One has been charged with causing an imminent danger of the crash, whereas the other was charged with unintentionally causing the crash. Each individual faces a prison sentence of up to eight years. The procedure of notifying the suspects of the charges and interviewing them has begun.
In accordance with international regulations on mutual legal assistance, the WPO requested the Russian side to deliver to the Polish court orders to the controllers, summoning them to appear before the Polish Prosecution in order to be interviewed as suspects. The request was made on October 22, 2015, and thus far, it has remained unanswered.
The WPO is also still awaiting the arrival of, among others, the Tu-154 wreckage and its black boxes from Russia. In addition, the WPO is also waiting for the U.S. to grant the Polish request and provide supplementary information and technical data from the manufacturer of the Tu-154 on-board equipment, such as the FMS navigation computer and TAWS (a terrain awareness and warning system).
Out of 87 medical reports regarding the Smolensk crash victims, several are still under preparation by forensic experts from the Wrocław Medical University, and are yet to be included in the investigation files. The WPO also expects the phonoscopic opinion by the ABW (Polish Internal Security Agency), regarding the identification of individuals heard on the the Smolensk ATC recording, to be ready in early April 2016. The ABW opinion will enable the WPO to match statements from the transcript with the individuals heard in the recording.
The PiS (Polish Law and Justice Party) has announced the liquidation of the Military Prosecution Office. The new Smolensk crash investigation will be conducted by a civilian Polish prosecutors' office, but it remains to be seen when that happens.
From the Editor's Desk: A real-life political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his dangerous mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption.
In 2007, a group of law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear.
From the Editor's Desk: A chilling and unflinching portrait of one of the most fearsome figures in world politics.
In 1999, the “Family” surrounding Boris Yeltsin went looking for a successor to the ailing and increasingly unpopular president. Vladimir Putin, with very little governmental or administrative experience - he’d been deputy mayor of St. Petersburg, and briefly, director of the secret police - nevertheless seemed the perfect choice: a “faceless” creature whom Yeltsin and his cronies could mold in their own image. Russia and an infatuated West were determined to see in him the progressive leader of their dreams - even as Putin, with ruthless efficiency, dismantled the country’s media, wrested control and wealth from the business class, and destroyed the fragile mechanisms of democracy.
From the Editor's Desk: "Blowing Up Russia" contains the allegations of ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko against his former spymasters in Moscow which led to his being murdered in London in November 2006. In the book he and historian Yuri Felshtinsky detail how since 1999 the Russian secret service has been hatching a plot to return to the terror that was the hallmark of the KGB.
Vividly written and based on Litvinenko's 20 years of insider knowledge of Russian spy campaigns, Blowing Up Russia describes how the successor of the KGB fabricated terrorist attacks and launched a war. Writing about Litvinenko, the surviving co-author recounts how the banning of the book in Russia led to three earlier deaths.
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
"Russian Image Management"
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
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views the SmolenskCrashNews.com. All information is provided on an as-is basis, and all data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. The Smolensk Crash News DOT COM makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.