Russia Refuses Cooperation in Smolensk Investigation
SCND: February 4, 2016
Chief Military Prosecutor Office reports that the Russian side has refused to provide legal assistance, to serve a complaint on the flight controllers from Smolensk, and to deliver summons for their interrogation.
According to Maj. Martin Maksjana, spokesman of the Polish Military Prosecutor’s Office (NPW), in a letter dated December 30, 2015, the Prosecutor General of the Russian Federation refused to provide legal assistance to Poland, and returned as "unenforceable" the motions of NPW filed with its Russian counterpart in accordance with the international treaty on legal assistance.
In its response, the Russian side relied on Article. 2 of the European Convention on Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters of 20 April 1959, which provides:
A request for legal assistance can be denied: If the requested Party considers that the execution of the request would prejudice the sovereignty, security, public order, or other essential interests of the state.
This decision means that the Russian side has prevented the Polish investigators from prosecuting controllers from Smolensk.
“Another deadline for the suspects to appear before the NPW has passed. However, they still failed to appear for their interviews. On January 29 the Military Prosecutor's Office in Warsaw received a letter from the General Prosecutor's Office of the Russian Federation dated 30 December 2015. The letter stated that the NPW applications for legal assistance for delivery to both controllers the summons to appear on a specified date at the headquarters of PSF in Warsaw, in order to present them with the charges and interrogate them as suspects, “has been processed and was returned as unenforceable,” explained Maj Maksjan of the Chief Military Prosecutor's Office.
"The Polish NPW is prepared to handle any circumstances, including such that the suspects fail to appear voluntarily at the offices of the prosecutor" - said Maj Maksjan, referring to the Russian response. He added that due to the "[Russia's] clear position", the prosecutor leading the investigation into the crash will not be able to provide further information at this time.
Former Minister of Justice, and criminal law expert, prof. Zbigniew Cwiakalski, pointed out that in such a situation the prosecutor responsible for this part of the investigation, may seek issuance of an arrest warrant for the suspects through the Interpol.
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.