Wreck of the TU-154M: photo - Polish Radio/ Wlodzimierz Pac
Antoni Macierewicz, who is a prominent member of the conservative Law and Justice party (PiS), has dismissed evidence that the Tupolev-154 crashed owing to errors made amid heavy fog.
Some 96 people, led by the then President of Poland Lech Kaczynski (himself formerly of Law and Justice), died in the disaster.
The delegation, which numbered members of several political parties, as well as a series of public figures, was flying to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the WWII Katyn Massacre.
The 2010 ceremonies were billed as an important step in the reconciliation between Russia and Poland.
Nevertheless, Macierewicz's report, which is entitled “28 months after Smolensk,” insinuates that Russia was actually prepared to risk an international outrage so as to eliminate the Polish president.
Macierewicz's report also dwells on the division of the Katyn commemorations (Prime Minister Tusk's delegation took part in a separate ceremony just days before).
“Did those cooperating with Putin against the President of Poland know how it would end?” the report asks, rhetorically.
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, twin brother of the late president and current leader of PiS, has himself claimed that Russia had a motive for eliminating his brother, in spite of the fact that Lech Kaczynski, whose popularity had ebbed by April 2010, was just months away from completing his term as president.
“There was Georgia, there were the Polish missiles,” Kaczynski said in December 2011, referring to the late president's support for Georgia in the 2008 war against Russia, likewise to President Kaczynski's backing of an American missile defence system on Polish territory.
Nevertheless, Donald Tusk's government had been keen to promote a policy of reconciliation with Russia.
No evidence of explosive material has been found to date, including during second autopsies on three victims of the disaster.
The official Russian report, released in December 2010, placed the blame for the crash on the Polish side, while Warsaw's report, published in July 2011, acknowledged a catalogue of faults on the Polish side, coupled with errors made in the Smolensk control tower. (nh)