Poland has officially accused the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, formerly the Prime Minister of Poland, of treason in collaborating with Russian President Vladimir Putin after a plane carrying Polish President Lech Kaczynski crashed in 2010 while landing at Smolensk Air Base in Russia. Russia has refused to return the black boxes or any other investigative material, saying they are still conducting their own investigation of the crash which killed the Polish leader and others.
The ministry notified the military department of the National Prosecutor’s Office on Monday that it suspected Tusk, who was Polish prime minister at the time, of an “abuse of trust in foreign relations”. The move was the latest, and possibly most serious, in an internal political row between Poland’s ruling right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) party and rival Tusk, reports Reuters.
The current Polish government had campaigned against Tusk being reelected to the European Council post, a position he has held since 2014, but lost the battle and was marginalized in recent EU proceedings. The Polish government is also angry at attempts by the EU Council to force Poland to amend recent changes to its laws which some in the EU believe hurt the rule of law in Poland.
Tusk dismissed the accusations, saying, “This is not a matter of legal or political nature, it is purely about emotions and obsessions…Therefore, it is not within my competence to comment on cases like this one.”
Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz told the Gazeta Polska Codziennie daily on Tuesday: “Tusk made an illegal contract with Vladimir Putin to the detriment of Poland and should bear criminal responsibility for that,” reported Reuters.
“It’s not about negligence, it is about a criminal offense,” Macierewicz said.