“The rooms have been sealed (…). Now it’s time to hold the Macierewicz commission accountable,” wrote Deputy Defense Minister Cezary Tomczyk about the Smolensk subcommittee. Its members were given until Monday to settle all documentation and real estate. The chairman of the subcommittee, Antoni Macierewicz, quickly convened a meeting on Monday to which he admitted selected journalists.
Deputy Prime Minister, 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 and its members are obliged to settle all documentation, real estate and equipment used for the work of the subcommittee by next Monday, December 18, 2023,” the Ministry of National Defense said on Friday.
The ministry confirmed that the members of the subcommittee “are withdrawn all authorizations and powers of attorney for activities related to the work of the subcommittee” and announced that in the near future “a special team will be established to analyze every aspect of the activities of the liquidated subcommittee.”
The chairman of the subcommittee, Antoni Macierewicz, did not want to abide by the decision, who stated that the body will operate 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.
Tomczyk: the rooms are sealed, the building is empty
Deputy Minister of National Defense Cezary Tomczyk (KO) announced on Monday evening on the X platform that “the decision of Minister Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz has been implemented.” “The premises have been sealed. The building is empty. Now it’s time to settle the Macierewicz Commission. We will do it immediately,” he added.
Ministry of National Defense: members of the former subcommittee have left the headquarters
Janusz Sejmej, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, also informed about the implementation of the decision of the Minister of National Defense.
“Today in the evening, i.e. on December 18 this year, the decision of Mr. Władysław Kosiniak-Kamysz, Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of National Defense, No. 408/DP, was implemented to terminate the activities of the Subcommittee of the Ministry of National Defense for the re-examination of the air accident of the Tu-154 plane – a disaster that took place under Smolensk on April 10, 2010. Members of the former subcommittee left the headquarters, the rooms were secured and sealed.
“I would like to remind you that a special team will be established in the near future to analyze every aspect of the activities of the liquidated subcommittee,” Janusz Sejmej, press spokesman for the Minister of National Defense, announced on the X platform (formerly Twitter).
Lasek: You’ve got your functions wrong, Mr. Macierewicz
“The commission never assesses guilt and responsibility. This is a task for the prosecutor’s office and the court. Your functions are mistaken, Mr. Macierewicz. This is another proof that you were never fit to lead the commission,” he wrote MP of the Civic Platform Maciej Lasek, former chairman of the State Aircraft Accidents Investigation Commission, which investigates accidents in civil aviation, and member of the State Aviation Accidents Investigation Commission, which investigated the Smolensk crash under the chairmanship of Jerzy Miller.
He referred in this way to Macierewicz’s entry, in which he wrote that “the Smolensk attack was a harbinger of the criminal policy that Putin is still implementing today,” and Russia’s guilt was confirmed “even by the Miller Commission.”
“Macierewicz is sitting inside and giving orders on who to let in.”
On Monday morning, i.e. on the day when the deadline for settling all documentation and real estate expired, a meeting was convened at the subcommittee’s headquarters at Kolska Street in Warsaw.
According to TVN24 reporter Jan Piotrowski who was in front of the building, Antoni Macierewicz was on site. – There are many indications that he has no intention of letting go. Since the morning we have seen a lot of traffic, both civilian and military cars. Nobody wants to answer questions, the journalist said.
Wojciech Czuchnowski, a journalist from “Gazeta Wyborcza”, also wrote about the case. “I don’t know what’s going on with this dissolution of the commission. Currently, Macierewicz is sitting inside and giving orders on who to let in. He didn’t want TVN24 and “Gazeta Wyborcza”. Only Polsat entered…” he said.
Macierewicz: The Smolensk subcommittee is to discuss the application to the European Court of Human Rights on Monday
Before the meeting, Antoni Macierewicz stated in Polsat News that the subcommittee was not liquidated because – in his opinion – “the minister does not have the authority to liquidate the subcommittee”. – It runs until August next year – he pointed out.
He added that there are no regulations enabling the head of the Ministry of National Defense to liquidate it. – Perhaps the point is that today’s meeting is devoted to the discussion of this report, i.e. a request to the (European – editor’s note) Court of Human Rights to accuse Russia of the Smolensk crime, of the murder of the president, of the first Russian attack on NATO country. This attack that started the aggression we are dealing with today, both in Ukraine and threats to other countries neighboring the Russian Federation, said Macierewicz.
– Mr. (Donald – ed.) Tusk considers the issuance of this report and its submission to the Human Rights Tribunal to be a threat to (Russian President Vladimir – ed.) Putin, and he has been protecting Putin at all costs since 2010, since April 10 , when he handed over the entire process of investigating the Smolensk drama, breaking Polish law, which assumed that there was to be a joint Polish-Russian commission – added the PiS politician.
Spokesperson for the Ministry of National Defense: the liquidation of the Smolensk subcommittee is a legal fact
When asked by PAP whether any steps would be taken in connection with the subcommittee’s meeting, Janusz Sejmej, spokesman for the Ministry of National Defense, recalled that the subcommittee was liquidated last week. – This is a legal, undeniable fact, in accordance with the decision of the Minister of National Defense – he said.
– We are dealing with a meeting of a former subcommittee – he emphasized. He added that we should wait for further comments from the Ministry of National Defense on this matter.
Statement of the deputy head of the Ministry of National Defense
Deputy Minister of National Defense Cezary Tomczyk said in an entry published early Monday afternoon on the December 18, 2023; former members of the subcommittee have the right to use the building at ul. Kolska until the end of the day to settle accounts for the work performed and return the collected equipment.
He added that on December 15, “all authorizations of the former chairman and members of the subcommittee to act on behalf of the Ministry of National Defense and the State Commission expired.”
“Any actions taken by former members of the subcommittee in a scope other than those described in the decision have no legal force,” he emphasized.
Smolensk subcommittee and “The Power of Lie” by Piotr Świerczek
The reportage exposes the work of the Smolensk subcommittee “The Power of Lies”. 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 – they 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.
Conclusions of the Miller Commission
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.
tvn24.pl report: Smolensk disaster
Main photo source: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto/Getty Images