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English Section

Polish court tells Wałęsa to apologise over air crash claim

22.07.2019 13:00
A Polish appeals court on Monday upheld a verdict ordering ex-Solidarity leader Lech Wałęsa to apologise for claiming that the head of the country’s ruling conservatives was responsible for the crash of a presidential plane in 2010.
Judge Małgorzata Rybicka-Pakuła delivers the verdict at the appeals court in Gdańsk, northern Poland, on Monday.
Judge Małgorzata Rybicka-Pakuła delivers the verdict at the appeals court in Gdańsk, northern Poland, on Monday.Photo: PAP/Marcin Gadomski

The court in Gdańsk, northern Poland, sided with the ruling of a lower court, which in December told Wałęsa to apologise for publicly claiming that Jarosław Kaczyński, head of the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, had issued instructions over the phone as a result of which the plane attempted to land despite bad weather.

The crash near a military airport in Smolensk, western Russia, on April 10, 2010, killed the PiS leader’s twin brother, then-President Lech Kaczyński, the First Lady and 94 others, mostly political and military top brass.

The disaster scarred the national psyche and is still a source of controversy and recrimination in Poland.

A former head of the Polish Prime Minister’s Office was last month given a 10-month suspended jail term for negligence in planning the 2010 flight.

Wałęsa was the leader of the Solidarity trade union movement, which helped bring down the communist regime in Poland in 1989.

He became Polish president in 1990, holding the post until 1995.

(gs)

Source: IAR, PAP, TVP Info