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“It was initially planned to end the exhumation and autopsy of of the Smolensk catastrophe victims in April next year,” Mr. Marek Pasionek, Deputy Prosecutor General, announced on Thursday at a press conference on the current state of the investigation into the Smolensk catastrophe.
Prosecutor Pasionek reported that a total of 27 exhumations had been conducted by Thursday, and another six were scheduled for June. He added that, according to plan, the exhumations will not be carried out in July and August. “We will return to the next exhumations in September," he said at the press conference. “These are preliminary assumptions, it cannot be otherwise. Because absolutely no one is sure about how the bodies will look in the successive coffins and how long their examination will proceed. We assume that the process of exhumation and autopsy will be completed by April next year,” he stressed. The Deputy Prosecutor General also reported on that results of the genetic research four exhumations were still upcoming. “There were some irregularities found in the course of the previous actions,” he pointed out. According to the information provided by Prosecutor Pasionek, two cases of swapping the bodies of Piotr Nurowski and Mariusz Handzlik had been revealed. He added that parts of other people's bodies were found in nine cases.
“As for the aspirations of a serious NATO country, I will really leave this is way of preserving the President's sacred memory without comment,” commented Pasionek.
“In the grave of the late Natalia Januszko, the youngest victim, body parts of five people have been revealed. Aleksandra Natalli-Świat 's tomb reveals body parts belonging to one person. In the coffin of Gen. Bronisław Kwiatkowski, fourteen body parts belonging to seven persons have been disclosed. In the coffin of Gen. Wlodzimierz Potasiński, there have been revealed six body parts, belonging to four other people,” said the prosecutor.
“In Archbishop Miron Chodakowski's coffin,” continued Pasionek, “one-half of the body was found. Half of the body of the late bishop, that is, the one from the waist up, whereas the one the waist down is the body of the Gen. Płoski in there. As a result of the exhumation of Tadeusz Płoski's body, only one-half his body was found in his coffin,” he said.
First expert testimonies in June
“Regardless of the individual corpses, we will want for the experts to have a comprehensive opinion on all the participants of this flight and talk about the cause and mechanism of death,” said Pasionek. As he reported, the Prosecutor's Office did not have any written opinion on the matter at present.
“The experts, who originally scheduled to write it in four months, requested to extend the deadline, raising the complexity of the matter. The Prosecutor's Office agreed. In the meantime, two more people were co-opted into the team,” Pasionek said.
“I have such assurance that the first of these opinions will arrive at the prosecutor's desk in June,” he added.
The Prosecutor’s Office takes all versions of the investigation into account
“The issues of identity and genetic research seem to be a prime matter at the moment, due to the quite justified pain. However, we do not lose sight of the fundamental issue that the autopsy section was supposed to serve, that is, to determine the cause and mechanism of death,” Pasionek stressed on Thursday. He added that the identification of victims of the disaster would be carried out “to the very end” and “all possible remains will be genetically tested”. “If our actions are done in a completely humane, humanitarian order, then it’s for the better,” he remarked, referring to the abnormalities revealed in connection with the burials of the victims of the catastrophe.
When asked why he did not signal any abnormalities in the work of the Russian pathologists, the problems of the Polish doctors and prosecutors involved in the autopsy sections of the bodies of the Smolensk victims, Pasionek said: “I was at the forensic medicine clinic, on the night of 13th April 14th, and I did not report any irregularities because (...) I was informed by the prosecutors that the sections had by then been carried out without their participation.”
Pasionek emphasised that, at the current stage of the proceedings, the Prosecutors Office treated all investigative versions equitably. Pasionek, asked about cooperation with foreign laboratories, said that "everything is on the right track.”. “The first batch of evidence was handed over to the Kent lab,” he said. He reported that the study and the release of the opinion will take about 6 months.
“The next labs, of course, (are) in startup blocks. I think that, in the coming days, in the near future, the next batch of evidence will be handed over to them,” he added.
Questions without answers
At the press conference, the Deputy Prosecutor General was also asked by Jakub Sobieniowski. the TVN Fakty reporter, whether the results of the victims’ bodies autopsy confirmed the thesis of a bomb planted and burst of a thermobaric explosive. However, Marek Pasionek did not answer that question. The conference organiser decided that it was not about the topic of the meeting.
“Please ask questions about the topic of the conference. Out of respect to family members of the victims of the Smolensk disaster. Please ask another question,” the conference leader replied.
“This question is not a sign of disrespect. I would like to ask if the exhumations so far have brought any evidence of assassination,” the reporter asked.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please let me know the next question,” the leader continued. “Why don’t you want to answer this question?” the TVN Fakty reporter continued.
The Deputy Prosecutor General did not respond.
The Smolensk exhumations
At the beginning of April 2016, the State Prosecutor's Office took over the Smolensk investigation from the liquidated Military Prosecutor's Office. Already in June, prosecutors announced that it was necessary to carry out an an exhumation of 83 victims of the catastrophe (nine exhumations were carried out in 2011-12, four bodies were cremated). This decision was justified by errors in Russian medical records and the lack of photographic documentation, as well as the fact that Russia did not agree to hear Russian experts who carried out autopsies on site. The exhumations began in mid-November 2016. Lech and Maria Kaczynski were the first to be exhumed.
translated by smolenscrash.eu
source: PAP, TVN, Polskie Radio, thenews.pl