Et segment av polsk opinion har aldri godtatt at president Lech Kaczynski selv hadde ansvar for at han og en rekke notabiliterer døde da flyet deres forsøkte å lande i Smolensk. Nye opplysninger viser at det er funnet spor av eksplosiver på 30 seter og en ving av flyet.
Påvisningen kan være feil eller skyldes andre faktorer. Men nyheten dominerte Polen tirsdag.
The newspaper initially reported that government experts had found traces of explosives, including TNT and nitroglycerin, on as many as 30 seats from the wrecked plane and on a segment of one wing. The newspaper noted that such traces could have come from the ground where the plane crashed, a wooded area near Smolensk that was the scene of intense combat during World War II and may still contain unexploded bombs and shells from that time.
In its later statement, Rzeczpospolita said that while the chemicals that were detected might be TNT and nitroglycerin, they were not necessarily so. The paper defended its report, saying that “in the context of the multiplying conspiracy theories, the delay and hoarding of such important information is incomprehensible.”
The report dominated news broadcasts in Poland all day, edging out coverage of the hurricane that hit the East Coast of the United States. And it split open old wounds that formed around the crash.
By Tuesday afternoon, public response to the article was so strong that Prime Minister Donald Tusk appeared on television to condemn those who were repeating conspiracy theories about the crash.
Polske militære tok avstand fra nyheten. Andre sa det måtte kontrollmålinger til som ville ta seks måneder. Men minst to mistenkelige dødsfall kaster en skygge over saken. Nå begynner mistanken å bli så sterk at den er vanskelig å fordrive.
Those suspicions have never dissipated, and they received new life over the weekend when a witness who was scheduled to testify before a parliamentary investigation was found hanged in his house in Warsaw, presumably a suicide.
The witness, Remigiusz Mus, was a flight engineer who flew into Smolensk an hour before Mr. Kaczynski’s plane crashed. He had said afterward that Russian air traffic controllers gave his flight’s pilot permission to descend to a low altitude in preparation for landing, contradicting an official investigation by the Interstate Aviation Committee.
In January, a prosecutor linked to the case excused himself during a media briefing and shot himself in the head. He survived.
As the new report about explosive traces rocked the Polish political scene on Tuesday, some observers faulted the government for failing to speak clearly and consistently about the causes of the crash. The new furor was seen as potentially damaging for Mr. Tusk and his party.
“The various ambiguities, uncertainties, the prosecutor’s office’s silence, the lack of consequent actions and then discoveries such as this one will add up, contributing to the rising distrust of those who have conducted the investigation and the rising distrust of the government,” Aleksander Smolar, a political scientist, said in a radio interview.