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Smolensk disaster widow wants exhumation of husband

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 26.09.2012 17:25
The widow of former Deputy Minister of Culture and 2010 Smolensk air disaster victim Tomasz Merta has requested the exhumation of her husband, and denounced the “lack of supervision” in the wake of crash.

Magdalena Merta: photo - Jacek Bednarczyk

Magdalena Merta submitted the application for the exhumation on 13 September, but spoke to Polish Radio on Wednesday following Tuesday's revelations concerning the burial of Solidarity activist Anna Walentynowicz in the wrong grave.

“The chaos, lack of supervision and nonchalance that occurred in Moscow with the victims of the disaster were bad omens,” she said.

“I am not sure if the body of my husband lies in his tomb, hence the request for the exhumation.” she said.

Merta noted that she did not fly to Russia to identify the body, and family members dissuaded her from attempting to open the coffin on its return to Poland, advising that the experience would be too traumatic.

“I regret that decision now, and I think they do as well,” she said.

The Military Prosecutor's Office in Warsaw has already confirmed that four other exhumations are due to take place, but that the names will remain confidential, owing to requests for privacy from the families concerned.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Jaroslaw Gowin, who was appointed in November 2011, has said that he hopes “to provide authoritative information on the burials of the victims,” noting that this would have to be done in conjunction with military prosecutors.

Gowin confirmed that the matter will be addressed in parliament on Thursday. (nh)

tags: Smolensk
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