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Russia keeps plane fragments while inquest into Smolensk drama goes on

April 10, 2012, 13:42 UTC+3

The Russian side is prepared to begin a procedure of technical coordination of the turnover procedure with its Polish colleagues

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MOSCOW, April 10 (Itar-Tass) — A problem of turning over fragments of the plane which crashed near Smolensk with the Polish president on board will be discussed upon completion of an investigation, a source from the Russian Investigative Committee ( SK) told Itar-Tass on Tuesday.

The problem of turning over the fragments of the broken plane, which are kept as a material evidence in a criminal case opened into the tragedy, will be discussed upon completion of the investigation and passing a procedural resolution, SK explained. The Russian side is prepared to begin a procedure of technical coordination of the turnover procedure with its Polish colleagues already now, SK said.

The investigation into the crash of the Tupolev-154 M is going on. The main technical load of work on the criminal case has been complete. The criminal case numbers 200 volumes. More than 500 onlookers of the tragedy have been questioned. Around 1,500 different objects have been examined and 328 forensic examinations have been conducted. Five forensic examinations are not over yet.

In the framework of international cooperation in the field of criminal justice Russia had filed 17 appeals for legal aid with the Polish side to which Poland sent investigation files in 46 volumes. For its part, Poland had applied for legal aid to Russia 16 times to which Russia sent investigation files in 52 volumes, SK said.

It assessed cooperation with the Polish investigative bodies as constructive and fruitful.

The Tupolev- 154 with late Polish President Lech Kaczynski and other members of the Polish official delegation on board crashed near Smolensk on April 10, 2010. Lech Kaczynski intended to take part in commemoration events in Katyn. All the 96 people on board the plane, including the Polish president and his wife, were killed in the catastrophe.

Experts of the Inter-State Aviation Committee arrived the conclusion that the air disaster was a result of the wrong conduct of the plane crew who, being under psychological pressure, made a decision to land despite bad weather conditions. The plane had been making a landing approach with guiding signs on land being invisible, and it failed to adequately react to the TAWS signals.


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