National Geographic to air Smolensk crash documentary amid protests
January 25, 2013
One of the episodes of the "Mayday" documentary series, to be shown on National Geographic Channel Jan 27, devoted to the fatal crash of the Polish of the governmental TU-154 plane has already raised controversy in Poland.
The plane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski and dozens of top Polish officials crashed in a thick fog near Smolensk, western Russia, in April 2010.
The main opposition Law and Justice (PiS) caucus had called on Poland’s Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, to take legal action against the broadcasters of the Canadian series. According to PiS the film is biased by presenting a pilot’s error as the main cause of the crash and shows only on the version of the events presented by the Russian Interstate Aviation Committee MAK.
Polish investigators have blamed the accident on difficult weather condition and mistakes made by both the Polish pilots and Russian air traffic controllers.
Mariusz Blaszczak, PiS caucus spokesman had written to Sikorski:
" I call you, Mr Minister, to co-ordinate legal action in the international area, including suing the broadcaster of the "Mayday" Canadian series in order to prevent spreading false information which are against the good name and the interests of the Republic of Poland and, moreover, which besmear the crew of the governmental TU-154 plane as well as are against the interests of the relatives of the victims of the national tragedy, also by suggesting (which is not confirmed by evidence) the pressure exerted by the passengers of the plane on the crew in order to force the landing,"
Jaroslaw Kaczynski, PiS leader had earlier suggested that the crash in which his twin brother, the late President Kaczynski, died was the result of a Moscow-backed plot to kill the Polish head of state rather than an air accident.