`Polish defence minister quits after crash report`

Last Updated: Friday, July 29, 2011 - 20:55

Warsaw: Polish Defence Minister Bogdan
Klich resigned after a damning report into last year`s air
crash in Russia that killed president Lech Kaczynski, Prime
Minister Donald Tusk said today.

The report indicted the armed forces, saying the
crew of Kaczynski`s plane were ill-trained and ill-prepared.

"Defence Minister Bogdan Klich handed me his
resignation yesterday and I accepted it today," Tusk told
journalists following the publication of the report
commissioned by the government.

He said he would nominate deputy interior minister
Tomasz Siemoniak to take his place.

The report said the pilots of the jet made a series
of errors as they approached Smolensk airport in fog in April
last year with Kaczynski and scores of other top officials
aboard.

"The aircraft commander, co-pilot, and navigator
had been trained hastily, haphazardly, and in violation of the
respective training regulations," it said.

The navigator`s Russian was weak, and the
meteorological information was incomplete, the inquiry
commission said, while also pointing at faults on the Russian
side.

"The commission has carried out its role well, in
defining precisely the causes of the disaster," Tusk said.

It had ruled out "extremist versions" of the events
that had been circulating, including sabotage and pressure
from third parties on the crew to land despite the weather, he
said.

PTI



First Published: Friday, July 29, 2011 - 20:55

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