June 2, 2017

HMM: Poland finds other body parts in coffin of president killed in 2010 crash.

The April 2010 crash near the western Russian city of Smolensk – the worst such disaster for Poland since World War Two – has left Polish society deeply divided over the cause despite the previous, centrist government’s conclusion from its own investigation that pilot error was at fault.

Poland’s current government under the Law and Justice (PiS) party, led by Lech Kaczynski’s twin brother Jaroslaw, took direct control of the prosecutors office and moved to re-examine the Smolensk crash after coming to power in late 2015, saying the previous investigation was not conducted properly.

Deputy Prosecutor General Marek Pasionek told reporters that in 12 of 24 coffins reopened since last year, bodies had been swapped in two, one contained half the body of another person while nine other caskets held scattered remains of other victims.

He said the coffin of Archbishop Miron Chodakowski contained only the upper half of his body while the lower half belonged to late General Tadeusz Ploski.

In the coffin of General Bronislaw Kwiatkowski there were 14 body parts belonging to seven other people, Pasionek said, adding that post-mortems would be finished by April next year.

In Moscow, the Kremlin and Russia’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to calls and emails asking for comment.

“Today we know that there was no diligence in (the post mortems conducted in Russia). There was nonchalance in the best case, and ill-will in the worst case,” Magdalena Merta, the widow of Tomasz Merta, a senior culture ministry official who died in the crash, told the Polish state agency PAP.


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