Accessibility links

Poland To Sue Russia Over Return Of Crashed Presidential Plane

Poland will sue Russia for withholding the wreckage of a Polish jet that crashed over Russia in 2010, killing the Polish president, the country's foreign minister-designate said on November 10.

Russia has declined to return the wreckage, arguing it needs to conclude its own inquiry.

Witold Waszczykowski told TVN24 that Poland will sue Russia in the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights for "dragging its feet" and "withholding Polish property."

"It's clear that Russia is using the wreckage for political purposes and we must therefore respond in a political manner," he said.

Polish and Russian investigations have blamed pilot error and thick fog in the April 2010 crash near Smolensk, which killed 96 people, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski, the central bank governor, top army commanders, and other high-ranking officials.

Kaczynski's twin brother Jaroslaw now heads the Law and Justice party, which won a majority in parliament last month.

Some of the new conservative ministers believe Russia played a role in the crash, which occurred as the Polish leaders were on their way to a ceremony to commemorate the 1940 Katyn massacre, when the Soviet Union's secret police killed thousands of Polish officers.

Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and AFP