The decisions of the head of the Ministry of National Defense, Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, regarding the liquidation of the Smolensk subcommittee are illegal – said its chairman, Antonii Macierewicz. He added that the subcommittee will operate in accordance with the law until August 2024. – None of the provisions mentioned by the minister provides for the possibility of liquidating the subcommittee before the end of its work – he argued.
Minister of Defense Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz On Friday, it overturned the decision to establish a subcommittee to re-examine the Smolensk disaster. The subcommittee is being liquidated, the Ministry of National Defense said. It added that “as of today, all authorizations and powers of attorney for activities related to the work of the subcommittee will be withdrawn from the members of the subcommittee.” Chairman Antoni Macierewicz was obliged to perform a number of tasks related to the end of the subcommittee’s operation.
“In the near future, a special team will be established to analyze every aspect of the activities of the liquidated subcommittee,” it was announced.
Macierewicz: this is pure lawlessness
Antoni Macierewicz, commenting on this decision, stated that “in fact, the position of Minister Kosiniak-Kamysz is illegal.” – Which means that he cannot in any way issue me decisions that would result in the liquidation of the subcommittee – he said. He added that “the minister does not have the right to issue a decision on the submission of documents and other elements of the subcommittee’s activities by the chairman within four days before the end of the subcommittee’s work.”
– None of the provisions mentioned by the minister provides for the possibility of liquidating the subcommittee before the end of its work, i.e. before August 2024 – said Macierewicz. According to him, “the operation of the subcommittee is described only in the ordinance of the Minister of National Defense of 2016 and there is no provision or possibility of liquidating the subcommittee before the expiry of the one-year term of its operation.” – The 1996 ordinance only concerns the competences of the Ministry of National Defense, but does not include the power to liquidate subcommittees – argued the PiS politician. – This is pure lawlessness – said Macierewicz.
“We are dealing with an operation that should be called propaganda and repression”
Deputy Minister of National Defense Cezary Tomczyk stated on Friday that the report of Jerzy Miller’s commission is the valid report on the Smolensk disaster. – I don’t know what the issue of Antoni Macierewicz and his strange research is, which, as far as I know, has not been completed, but one thing is certain – Jerzy Miller’s report is a valid report and will return to the website of the Ministry of National Defense – said Tomczyk.
– This is also lawlessness – said Macierewicz. He added that “no government official can decide on the validity of the report.” – According to the law, this is the exclusive competence of the chairman of the subcommittee – he announced.
Tomczyk pointed out that from the moment the decision was issued by the head of the Ministry of National Defense, the subcommittee had no right to undertake “any future activities, no obligations.”
– This is nonsense – said Macierewicz. – The subcommittee was not provided with such a document, nor was it even provided with information about it in the media or by telephone. What’s more, our secretary was in the Ministry of National Defense office and no one told her anything. Due to the illegality of the action, it is only a kind of media propaganda for now, and from the legal point of view we are dealing with an operation that should be called propaganda and repression, not legal, he said.
Macierewicz: the operation of the subcommittee is independent
Macierewicz expressed the opinion that “no official of the Polish state can invalidate the report and cite some other material as a valid report.” “It’s impossible,” he decided. – Such decisions can only be made by the chairman of the subcommittee, not the minister, not the prime minister, not the president. There is no such possibility here, so we are dealing with a whole series of lawlessness on the part of the current institutions, which obviously cannot be tolerated, he said.
When asked what steps he would take after receiving the decision to liquidate the subcommittee, he replied: – If I receive any position that is legal, I will of course implement it. This is absolutely obvious, there is no shadow of a doubt. Whatever I think about it politically, the law is the law. It must be implemented.
– The operation of the subcommittee is independent – the president, the prime minister, or the minister of national defense have no right to accept or question the report. They neither accept nor deny it, said Macierewicz.
The crash of the presidential plane near Smolensk
On April 10, 2010, in the crash of the Tu-154M plane near Smolensk, all passengers and crew members died – 96 people, including the president. Lech Kaczynski and his wife. The Polish delegation was heading to the ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre.
tvn24.pl report: Smolensk disaster
The investigation of the Smolensk crash in Poland was conducted by the State Aviation Accident Investigation Commission, headed by the then head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration, Jerzy Miller. Its report was published in July 2011. In the final conclusions of the report, the experts indicated that the cause of the accident was “a descent below the minimum descent altitude, at an excessive rate of descent, in weather conditions that prevented visual contact with the ground and a late start of the go-around procedure. This led to a collision with a terrain obstacle, detachment of a fragment left wing together with the aileron, and consequently to the loss of control of the aircraft and collision with the ground.
Macierewicz Commission and “pseudoraport”
The subcommittee to re-examine the Smolensk disaster was established in February 2016 by the then Minister of National Defense Antoni Macierewicz, who, before the United Right took power, headed the parliamentary team composed of PiS MPs into the case of the Tu-154M plane crash near Smolensk. After stepping down from this position in 2018, Macierewicz became chairman of the subcommittee.
In April 2022, Macierewicz presented a report on her work that questioned the findings of the Miller commission. – The cause of the disaster on April 10 over Smolensk was an act of illegal interference by the Russian side on the Tu-154M aircraft with a delegation of the President of the Republic of Poland; the main and indisputable evidence of this interference was an explosion in the left wing 100 m before the plane passed the birch tree on Dr. Bodin’s plot above an area where there were neither tall trees nor other obstacles that could threaten the plane. Then there was an explosion in the center wing, said Macierewicz, presenting the report.
Politicians of the then opposition repeatedly criticized the activities of the subcommittee. In December 2022, KO MP Maciej Lasek, former head of the State Commission for the Investigation of Aircraft Accidents, said that “after over 6 years, spending PLN 30 million of public funds, the destruction of the second Tupolev, worth about PLN 70 million,” Antoni Macierewicz published a “pseudoraport”, ” with which even some members of the subcommittee do not agree.
“The Power of Lie” by Piotr Świerczek
The reportage exposes the work of the Smolensk subcommittee “The Power of Lies”, broadcast on September 12, 2022 on TVN24. This is the result of many months of work by Piotr Świerczek, a journalist from “Black and White” TVN24. The author obtained recordings, photos and international expertise regarding disaster in Smolensk in 2010, which – although commissioned by the so-called Smolensk subcommittee of Antoni Macierewicz – were never included in its reports, including the last one, which was supposed to be the final report. These materials either directly exclude the attack or point to the disaster as the cause of the tragedy. Świerczek also talked to people who worked for the subcommittee, but they did not agree with its conclusions that an attack took place in Smolensk. Moreover, the journalist’s interlocutors openly say that their research was manipulated or selectively used to support theses predetermined by the subcommittee.
When it turned out that at the request of Antoni Macierewicz National Broadcasting Councilinstead of guarding freedom of speech, wants to punish TVN for this material, several dozen of the largest editorial offices of national and local media, as a sign of solidarity, decided to publishing the report “The Power of Lies” on its website.
Main photo source: Marian Zubrzycki/PAP