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    Subcommittee Investigating 2010 Smolensk Air Disaster Seeks European Court of Human Rights Prosecution Against Russia

    The special subcommittee established to probe the 2010 Smolensk air disaster is contemplating filing an application with the European Court of Human Rights to prosecute Russia for its alleged role in the incident. Subcommittee head and senior Law and Justice (PiS) politician, Antoni Macierewicz, made the announcement despite recent claims that the subcommittee had been disbanded by the new defense minister, Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz, on December 15.

    The tragic Smolensk air disaster claimed the lives of then-Polish President Lech Kaczynski, a PiS founder, and 95 others when their plane crashed in western Russia. The subcommittee’s previous report suggested that the aircraft was brought down by two explosions in what they deemed an assassination.

    Macierewicz disputed the alleged dissolution of the subcommittee, asserting that the defense minister lacked the authority to abolish it and that it would continue its work until August of the following year. According to him, the Smolensk disaster was not only a crime for which Russia is responsible but also the murder of the Polish president and the first Russian attack on a NATO country.

    He further claimed that the release of the subcommittee’s findings to the Court of Human Rights is viewed as a threat by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Macierewicz accused Tusk of protecting Putin since 2010 when, in violation of Polish law, Tusk was allegedly assigned the responsibility of investigating the Smolensk tragedy instead of forming a joint Polish-Russian committee.

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