Opposition calls for US help in Smolensk crash investigation


Anna Fotyga; photo - east news

To the annoyance of the government, a former foreign minister is heading for the US today as part of a campaign to enlist American help in the investigation into the Smolensk air crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski and many leading Polish political and military figures.


Anna Fotyga, who is now the Law and Justice party’s spokeswoman for foreign affairs and Antoni Macierewicz, head of an ad-hoc parliamentary committee into the Smolensk disaster, are  travelling to the United States with a letter signed by 300,000 Poles who believe the crash should be investigated by an independent international commission and not Russia or the Polish government.


The idea has the support of Republican Congressman Peter T. King who tabled a draft resolution in June to set up an international independent commission to investigate the Smolensk disaster.


“Republican supporters and politicians came up with the initiative. This visit is simply in response to the American initiative,” says Anna Fotyga.


Spokesman for the Polish government Pawel Gras argues that the visit undermines the work of Polish investigators, however and is bordering on treason.


“This is an absolute scandal, turning to a foreign power, undermining trust in Polish state institutions,” he complained.




Gras's statement outraged Law and Justice leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who called it an “act of unheard of impertinency”.


The late Lech Kaczynski’s twin brother argued that the Polish government has placed the investigation in the hands of a hostile power – Russia.


“For some reason, which should be explained to the nation, Mr Tusk trusts this power,” said Kaczynski.


PM Donald Tusk believes that there is no need to create an international commission to investigate the catastrophe. The government has done everything to uncover the truth about the Smolensk crash, the premier said today, stressing that it will not let good relations with Russia be spoiled in connection with this investigation.


Donald Tusk accused Law and Justice of turning the Smolensk tragedy into its key instrument of political attack, because it has noting else to offer Poland. (kk/pg)