`Polish defence minister quits after crash report`
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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.


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

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