Shocking court decision! The prosecutor's office cannot question Magdalena Fidas Dukaczewska - the key witness in the Smolensk crash investigation.
Published: September 25, 2019
A shocking decision of the District Court in Warsaw prevents the prosecutors from interviewing Magdalena Fidas Dukaczewska - the translator of Donald Tusk during the meeting with President Putin in Smolensk on the day of the crash of the Polish Air Force One. The decision of the appellate court practically blocks the deposition of a key witness whose explanations could have a major impact on the Smolensk crash investigation.
This harmful court decision directly impacts the investigation of the Smolensk crash and constitutes an extremely dangerous precedent. The court blocked the deposition of this key witness again. Earlier, the lower court issued a similar decision in the spring of 2019.
On September 25, 2019, the Warsaw District Court overturned the prosecutor's decisions to release Donald Tusk’s translator Fitas Dukaczewska from secrecy. The prosecutor's office is bound by this decision at this stage of the proceedings. This decision deprives the prosecutor's office of the ability to question Fitas Dukaczewska as a person directly involved in the events under investigation, including the talks between Prime Ministers of Poland Donald Tusk and Prime Minister of Russia Vladimir Putin. Failure to obtain the testimony of this witness could mean that the factual findings will not be based on full, available evidence - reports the National Prosecutor's Office in a letter sent to the editor of wPolityce.pl.
Facts and circumstances that this witness may know are of particular importance to the Smolensk crash investigation. They concern important aspects of the Polish government's activities immediately after the Smolensk tragedy, including the transfer to the Russian Federation of the right to unilaterally investigate the causes of this crash.
Investigators emphasize that Fitas Dukaczewska was at the Smolensk crash site a few hours after the crash, and therefore had the opportunity to see the crime scene relatively intact, before Russian teams began to remove fragments of the wreck.
She also had the opportunity to listen to Russian reports almost contemporaneous with the event, which are considered more objective than later official reports. She may also have knowledge of the circumstances in which decisions were made regarding legal mechanisms that were to be used in conducting the investigation of this tragedy - investigators wrote.
Therefore, the Prosecutor's Office considered it necessary to question Fitas-Dukaczewska as a key witness. It is the duty of the investigators to use every available source of evidence to explain all issues under investigation in the most reliable and professional manner- reads the press release of the Prosecutor’s Office. Investigators emphasize that the court was deaf to the arguments and justification of the prosecutor regarding the interrogation of Dukaczewska.
In March 2019, the District Court in Warsaw pointed out the need to provide detailed justification for the decision to release the translator from secrecy related to the exercise of her profession. At that time, the court considered the possibility of releasing the witness from secrecy. The Prosecutor’s office provided requested justification, referring to extensive legal literature and well-established case-law of the Supreme Court, according to which the interest of the justice system requires that during the investigation all obtainable evidence that may affect the outcome of the case be acquired in the course of the investigation.
Prosecutor Bartosz Biernat emphasized that the latest court decision is different than the previous one. He pointed out that the court argued in this decision that "hearing this witness may affect Poland's international relations."
Commenting on the decision, one of Fitas-Dukaczewska's attorneys Paweł Murawski said that the court had indicated that there were "other means of evidence to obtain information of interest to the prosecutor's office." Secondly, the court stated that the interest of justice does not override the need to protect the secrets of a legally protected sworn translator.
Magdalena Fitas-Dukaczewska from 1999 to 2015 worked as a translator of English and Russian with all subsequent Polish governments and presidents. In 2010, she was the translator of Prime Minister Donald Tusk during a visit to Katyn on April 7 and in Smolensk on April 10 - in talks with the Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. It is the content of this last conversation that is of particular importance to the prosecutor's office.
Click on the thumbnails below to view screen dumps from the detectors used to examine the wreckage and seats from the Polish president's plane crash in Smolensk. An "X" denotes the presence of the detected explosive substance and its type. The underlined Polish word "Probka" or "probka" in the screen dump 1 and 2, means "Sample"
Why did they all fly on the same plane?
Synopsis: January 12, 2013, Toronto, Canada. The wife of the late Deputy-Minister of Culture Tomasz Merta: "What I am about to tell you now, are suspicions - and not even my own - but, rather the [suspicions of the] individuals in the inner-circles of the [Polish] military... I heard a statement that was made - but, I am not taking any responsibility for how credible, or not credible it is. [I heard that] had the generals and journalists' not been re-assigned to different aircraft, it wouldn't have been the Tupolev [Tu-154M], but rather the Casa [transport aircraft] that would have been taken out.
Because the Generals were no longer onboard the Casa, there was no reason for it to get airborne. And for this reason it was the Yak[-40] that flew off to Smolensk. This Casa [transport aircraft] was never examined in any way. It was not subject to any examination. Aside from a single note in the deposition given to the military, no one was interested why this aircraft didn't fly [to Smolensk]. Perhaps, this is someones crazy phantasy, but perhaps it isn't.
Some [Polish] military personnel had suggested, that it [the Casa] had to stay behind at the Okecie military [tarmack], so that the explosives could be removed from it - because they were no longer needed [...] I am only repeating what I was told."
"Disarming" Explosives ...
It is worth for us to retrace the entire process of "disarming" the case of explosive substances at the crash site. It all started with the publication of Cezary Gmyz in "Rzeczpospolita" on October 30, 2012, and information that the detectors, which were used by experts in Smolensk (in late September and October) showed traces of TNT and nitroglycerine.
As it turned out, the journalist was also reporting about the indication of Hexogen. The storm broke. The prosecution denied the publication, and ultimately, the editor-in-chief of "Rzeczpospolita," Cezary Gmyz and two other journalists lost their jobs. The entire editorial staff of one of Poland’s most popular weeklies, "Uważam Rze", was also silenced.
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