September 5, 2017

Poland Smolensk Crash

Moreno Ocampo is advising the Minister of Defense of Poland on legal pathways that can be utilized by the Republic of Poland to clarify the circumstances of the 010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash. This includes the recovery of the wreckage from Russian authorities.

The 2010 plane crash represents one of the most significant disruptions of Polish government in its history. Polish President Lech Kaczyński, his wife, and dozens of Polish leaders perished in the crash outside of Smolensk, Russia. Among those who died include the former President of Poland in exile Ryszard Kaczorowski, the chief of the Polish General Staff, various senior Polish military officers, the president of the National Bank of Poland, Polish government officials, and 18 members of the Polish Parliament. A loss of such magnitude was devastating for Poland. Russia’s refusal to return the wreckage is damaging relations between the two countries.

Furthermore, the crash proved provocative to Polish historical memory given that the group was traveling to Russia in commemoration of the Katyn Massacre. In 1940, the Russian secret police executed 22,000 members of the Polish army and police under Russian custody. This fact was denied by the Russians for 50 years until Boris Yeltsin released documents in 1990, proving Stalin’s involvement.

Mr. Moreno Ocampo will act independently and impartially in reviewing the evidence cited by the Russian and Polish authorities. In this process he hopes to clarify and resolve the disagreements between parties.