Seven years after the air catastrophe at Smoleńsk, old accusations towards the former prime minister Donald Tusk are reviving. Was the agreement to the Chicago convention, instead to the contract of 1993, a diplomatic betrayal?

‘A person, being entitled to represent Poland in relations with the government of a foreign country or a foreign organization, is working to the harm to the Republic of Poland, is subject to punishment of imprisonment’ – this is written in the art. 129 of the criminal code, which is often referred to in the context of the air catastrophe at Smoleńsk. If Russia was collaborating well with Poles, nobody would mention the so-called diplomatic betrayal. But the situation is completely different now, as the investigation has been taking place for over 7 years and one cannot see that the Russians would like to give back Polish property.

Although proceedings in procurators’ work and investigation of the National Defence Ministry have practically been undertaken anew, they must be based only on such evidences to which Poland has got an access. The most important evidences remained on the territory of the Russian Federation. And this fact is the main accusation against Donald Tusk. One can say that he did everything so that the harmed Polish country would be deprived of rights in the investigation of the catastrophe causes. The article of diplomatic betrayal says about actions ‘to the harm of the Republic of Poland’ done by a person entitled to represent it in relations with ‘a foreign country’.

A suit after years

On the first days after 10 April 2010, a lot of flats were visited by ABW agents who secured personal items from which comparative material DNA could be taken. There was a similar case with a rector of the University of Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński Fr. Prof. Ryszard Rumaniak, who lived in the Seminary just near the Presidential Palace.

Such a procedure is a standard in mass accidents. It was so after a tragic accident of a coach with Polish pilgrims in France and after the catastrophe of CASA airplane. However Smoleńsk showed that everything can be contradictory with any standards. As a result, the body of Fr. Prof. Rumaniak was mistaken with the body of the last president of the Republic of Poland in exile Ryszard Kaczorowski, but there were much more ‘mistakes’. So far nearly 20 procedures have been carried out. Beside the fact that 6 bodies were swapped, there was a woman’s leg next to one of men, in another grave 3 arms were found, and in another one – 2 left hands.

The content of coffins has got an important personal dimension for families, but it is also a testimony of how the whole investigation was proceeding. – How can the Polish country say that it has investigated all circumstances of the catastrophe thoroughly, when it does not even know whom it laid into coffins – Andrzej Melak, a brother of deceased Stafen tells ‘Niedziela’. – Exhumations show how the Russian Federation treated not only families, but also our country, that is, all Poles. And this is so with the whole Smoleńsk investigation.

The Melak family lived to see exhumation after 7 years. The body of the late Stefan Melak remained in quite a good state. The family could take care of having their relative dressed in a suit and putting a rosary from the Holy Father into the coffin. – Now I am calm that I have done everything what I could – says Andrzej Melak.

Exhumations are important for families, who are not still sure if in the graves at which they are praying and are lighting grave candles, their relatives are really buried. And it is not the only reason. A personal dimension is very important to me, but I also hope for professional investigation of secured proofs – says Małgorzata Wypoych, a wife of the late Paweł Wypych, a minister in the Office of President Lech Kaczyński.

People of Donald Tusk

At present 2 independent investigations about the Smoleńsk catastrophe are being carried out now. One proceeding is supervised by a deputy of the general procurator Marek Pasionek, and in the National Defence Ministry a sub-commission of Smoleńsk is functioning which is investigating technical causes of the tragedy. – It is good that both investigations are carried out independently but I am concerned about the lack of exchange of some information between these institutions – says Małgorzata Wypych. – I perceive, however, a lot of engagement and willingness to explain the causes of the tragedy. This is a quality change towards what we saw after the catastrophe for long 5 years.

The most advanced issue is the one which has a political ground. In the District Court in Warsaw 2 clerks from the Prime Minister’s Office and 2 employees of the Polish Embassy in Moscow sat in the dock of defendants. The most important person in a private act of accusation is the closest cooperator of the prime minister Donald Tusk – a minister Tomasz Arabski. Private prosecutors accused Arabski of, among the others, failing to fulfill his duties in the sphere of supervision and coordination on providing a special military transport for the President of the Polish Republic. Moreover a lot of witnesses both from the office of the former prime minister Donald Tusk and president Lech Kaczyński were heard. – A decision about calling for Donald Tusk as a witness has not been made yet, but on the following day, after the 7th anniversary of the catastrophe, the former chief of diplomacy Radosław Sikorski is to due to appear in the court – says mec. Małgorzata Wypych, who represents the harmed families in the court.


„Niedziela” 15/2017

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl