09:39 GMT24 September 2020
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    A Polish aviation expert told Radio Sputnik on Friday that attempts to blame Russian air traffic controllers for the crash of the Polish presidential plane in 2010 outside Smolensk were senseless.

    Polish National Aviation Council Secretary Tomasz Hypki told Sputnik that Polish prosecutors' attempts to blame Russian air traffic controllers for the 2010 crash of the Polish presidential plane outside Smolensk, Russia were misguided.

    On Friday, Russian air traffic controllers were accused by Poland's Military Prosecutor General's Office of "unintentional acts" leading to the fatal crash. Hypki commented by stating that in his view, the air traffic controllers "simply found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time." The expert noted that "they could not in any way prevent what ultimately occurred, and stated repeatedly that the appropriate conditions for landing were nonexistent. They did not consent to the landing. The crew of the plane decided to land anyway."

    Commenting on the nearly five-year-long investigation, Hypki noted that the results did not offer very much in the way of new evidence or material. "From the publishing of the first reports –both Polish and Russian, we have known what happened there [outside Smolensk]; all that was missing was information of the formal and legal aspect, which was not fully clarified, because the prosecutor's office found that in Poland, in principle, no one carries any responsibility for what occurred with this flight. This seems very strange to me, since in practice someone should be held responsible for the pilots' training, for how they follow instructions, and so on."

    Ultimately, the expert believes that the investigation into the crash has been tainted by politics: "In my view, the turning of the case in this direction is part of a propaganda war. We know that relations between Poland and Russia have not been the best in recent times. Moreover, this distraction from the errors by the Polish side benefits those who must be held responsible for contributing to this situation in Poland," Hypke concluded.

    On Friday, Polish prosecutors accused two Russian air traffic controllers at the Smolensk Airport of "unintentional acts" leading to the fatal crash of then-President Lech Kaczynski and other officials in 2010, saying that they would bring charges against the controllers, as well as Polish officials.

    Russian Investigative Committee Spokesman Vladimir Markin commented Friday that Russian investigators had provided Polish investigators with all the material at their disposal, and noted that the Russian side had found no violations in procedure by flight control officials. "They acted in full compliance with instructions and international regulations," Markin noted.

    The presidential plane carrying Lech Kaczynski, his wife, and members of the Polish government crashed April 10, 2010, as it attempted to land in heavy fog at an airfield near Smolensk. All 96 passengers and crew aboard were killed.


    Russia Denies Air Traffic Controllers at Fault for Kaczynski Plane Crash
    Poland Blames Russian Air-Traffic Controllers for Presidential Plane Crash
    Plane crash, tragedy, president, investigators, investigation, Polish National Aviation Council, Tomasz Hypki, Vladimir Markin, Lech Kaczynski, Russia, Poland
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