Russian police looted presidential plane after crash: Poland

June 7th, 2010 - 7:05 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, June 7 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Poland has accused three Russian police officers of looting the Polish presidential plane after it crashed in Russian territory in April, but Russia has strongly denied the accusation.
A Soviet-made Tu-154 crashed near Smolensk city April 10, killing all 96 people on board including President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and senior government officials. The deceased were on their way to attend a memorial ceremony for the victims of the 1940 Katyn massacre, in which Soviet secret police killed thousands of Polish military officers.

Polish government spokesman Pawel Gras Sunday said three Russian special purpose police unit (OMON) officers illegally used the bank card of top Polish official Andrzej Przewoznik who also died in the crash.

“The three OMON officers who did this shameful deed were promptly detained thanks to cooperation between Poland’s domestic security agency and Russian special services,” he said.

Russia, meanwhile, called the spokesperson’s statements “sacrilegious and cynical”.

“Smolensk police actions… received a positive assessment. There were no complaints about them,” Russia’s interior ministry said in a statement Sunday.

“On May 8… acting Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski awarded four Smolensk police officers with the order ‘For Merits to the Republic of Poland’ for their work to deal with consequences of the air crash and investigation,” the ministry said.

“In this connection, accusations against Smolensk police officers are the more so seen as sacrilegious and cynical,” the ministry said.

Przewoznik’s widow earlier said that around $2,000 disappeared from his bank card, with the first transaction taking place on the day of the air crash, April 10, and two other transactions occurring in the following two days, also in Smolensk.

Gras said Polish officials informed Russia of the withdrawal from Przewoznik’s card.

But Russia’s interior ministry officially denied the report.

“This information does not correspond to reality. No Smolensk police officer has been detained over committing acts described in the media-circulated report,” it said.

–IANS/RIA Novosti


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