The 2010 Katyń Families Association
28.03.2019

The British Forensic Explosives Laboratory (FEL) at the request of the Polish National Prosecutor's Office tested samples collected from the TU-154M jet that crashed in Smolensk for traces of explosive materials. According to "Sieci", which obtained results of these tests, on most of the 200 tested samples substances used to manufacture explosive materials were found.


The authors, Marek Pyza and Marcin Wikło, claim to have obtained information according to which experts from the British Forensic Explosives Laboratory,testing the samples provided by the National Prosecutor's Office in May 2017, allegedly, confirmed that TNT was present on the wreck of the Tupolev. The Polish Prosecutor's Office was allegedly informed about this a few weeks ago.


"It is a piece of information kept secret by the investigators. We learned that several weeks ago the Polish Prosecutor's Office had received a letter informing about the partial results of the tests conducted at the Forensic Explosives Laboratory - a unit attached to the British Ministry of Defence specialising in forensic tests related to explosives.".


As the journalists reported, traces of substances such as TNT used to manufacture explosives have been found on most of the 200 samples of the wreck of Tupolev provided by the Polish side.


According to the authors of the article, the discovery made by the British scientists will have "colossal" importance for the determination of the causes of the tragedy which took place on 10 April 2010. "What kind of impact could the information about traces of TNT and other substances found have on the investigation and the determination of the causes of the disaster? Colossal. It is still too early, however, to formulate any final conclusions. Years ago, definitive resolutions have been attempted in this case despite the fact that evidence undermined them. That is why we should hold off from formulating absolute opinions until all analyses are completed. They stress that once all results are received the prosecutors will interpret them. Maybe further specialist from abroad will be retained just for that purpose. It is a standard practice.”


The first reports of explosive materials on the fragments of Tu-154M were published on 30 October 2012 by "Rzeczpospolita" daily in an article by Cezary Gmyz entitled "TNT on the wreck of Tupolev". Cezary Gmyz (currently "Do Rzeczy") wrote that the Polish prosecutors and forensic experts who investigated the wreck of the Tu-154M found traces of explosives: TNT and nitroglycerine. The publication caused a storm in Poland, and heads rolled at the "Rzeczpospolita " editorial team. The author of the article Cezary Gmyz, Head of the Domestic News Section Mariusz Staniszewski and the Chief Editor Tomasz Wróbleski lost their jobs. Only several years later the court confirmed that the text "TNT on the wreck of Tupolev" was reliable and that the journalists were fired without justified grounds.


Back then, the Military Prosecutor's Office denied the information. Meanwhile it confirmed that the so-called high-energy substances have been found on the wreck, but these they argued at the time could have just as well been e.g. pesticides.


Wikło and Pyza also noted that the Smolensk investigation will not end soon. "One should expect the investigation to take even several more years. In 2012, we have learned that portable explosive materials detectors have shown the presence of TNT and other explosives on many fragments of the wreck. The Prosecutor's Office then explained later that these were fallible devices [...]. Their manufacturer denied these accusations while stating that the equipment was infallible.”


The journalists also noted discrepancies between the new results and the results of earlier tests of the samples in Poland:


“It is important that the samples sent to the British Forensic Explosives Laboratory are the same as the samples tested in 2013 by the Central Forensic Laboratory of the Polish Police (CLKP). The tests then, it was announced, found no traces of explosives. A clear conclusion can be drawn: the British tests undermine the forensic tests conducted several years ago by CLKP. It is impossible not to ask questions: whether due to the tests conducted in the United Kingdom will someone go back to the "findings" made by CLKP? Will someone answer for obstructing the investigation of the causes of the death of the President of the Republic of Poland and the Polish delegation?”


The authors also reveal that the Prosecutor's Office has recently signed a contract with a group of foreign experts who worked on known flight disaster cases to assist in the Polish investigation.


Wikło and Pyza stressed that there is a long way between the found traces of explosives and the causes of the disaster. "If the investigation was conducted like that from the start, we would probably already know the answer to the main question: what happened in the morning of 10 April 2010 over Smolensk? Although we stress that is worth waiting for the tests results from all the labs and all the planned analyses, the news that are coming now from the United Kingdom bring us closer to solving the mystery."


---


On April 10th, 2010 a TU-154M plane crashed in Smolensk (Russia) a 1km short of the runway killing all passengers on board including the Polish President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, former President Ryszard Kaczorowski, the entire general army command, the Chief of the Polish General Staff and other senior Polish military officers, the president of the National Bank of Poland, Poland's deputy foreign minister, Polish government officials, 15 members of the Polish parliament, senior members of the Polish clergy, and relatives of victims of the Katyn massacre.