Security chief accused of neglect in presidential plane crash probe
June 26, 2012
Prosecutors have charged the former deputy chief of the Government Protection Bureau with neglecting his duties while organizing the Polish president's flight to Smolensk, western Russia in 2010, during which the presidential plane crashed, killing all aboard.
According to prosecutors, Government Protection Bureau officers supervised by General Pawel Bielawny failed to provide adequate security for top Polish officials flying to Smolensk, including the head of state.
Bielawny, who has since been fired from his job, faces up to three years in jail if convicted.
The plane carrying President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others crashed in thick fog on April 10, 2010, at Severniy airport near Smolensk.
Prosecutors have been investigating the planning and organization of both the Polish President’s flight and of a flight by Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk three days earlier.
Bielawny has also been charged with lying in official documents listing Government Protection Bureau officers involved in Tusk's visit to Russia on April 7, 2010, according to Poland's PAP news agency.
Bielawny could face five years in prison if convicted of the second charge. He has said he is not guilty and has refused to testify.