On 28 October 2012, key witness in the case of the Polish Tu-154 airliner crash near Smolensk in 2010 has been found dead at his home near Warsaw. According to the district prosecutor’s office the witness committed suicide. He was scheduled to testify before a parliamentary investigation and was apparently due to tell investigators he heard two loud bangs just before the president's plane went down.
Polish flight engineer, Remigiusz Mus, who landed a Yak-40 plane in Smolensk an hour just before the infamous presidential plane crash, was an important witness to the ongoing investigation. Remigiusz Muś was found hanged in the basement of a residential house in a Warsaw suburb late on Sunday, two days before the Rzeczpospolita daily TNT report. Officially neither police, nor prosecutors have reasons to suspect that third persons could be involved in the death of the 42-year old.
Muś was in the cockpit of his Yak-40 airliner that landed at Smolensk-Severny airport (an hour just before the infamous presidential plane crash) and claimed he was able to hear and listen from the cockpit to the communication between the Tu-154 crew and the Smolensk air traffic controllers via his onboard radio. Since the beginning, in his testimony Muś sustained that Russian tower operators asked the Polish crew captain Major Protasiuk to descend to the height of 50 meters. Muś reported that the flight officer on duty gave the Polish liner a permission to descend to the "decision-making height" of 50 meters, despite the weather conditions. Officially, the air controller did not give permission to descend below 100 meters. According to Muś, Russian air traffic controllers gave his flight’s the Yak-40 was given permission to descend to 50 meters, thus breaching regulations. This information alone contradicts both Russian and Polish official governmental investigation reports into the crash. Both claimed that the controller did not allow the airliner to descend lower than 100 meters.
The flight engineer also claimed that he had heard two explosions a few seconds before the Tu-154 crashed. At the time he stated he was unable to recognise the source and casue of the explosions.
The head of the Polish Parliamentary Investigation Commission, Antoni Macierewicz, has called for the second main witness, a pilot on the journalists' plane, to be placed under protection from now on. "We have an impression that the noose is tightening around the necks of anyone who knows what really happened in Smolensk," he said.
What is also interesting is that the Prosecutor’s Office has not yet disclosed the contents of the recording from Yak-40 tape recorder made by the warrant officer Muś. (...) It should be added that the recordings from the Yak-40 tape recorder are the only original recordings from the site of the crash, which came into the hands of the Poles without the mediation of the Russians.