No access to presidential plane wreckage a problem says official

A deputy justice minister has said that lack of access to the wreckage of the aircraft involved in the Smolensk air disaster, which claimed the lives of President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others in 2010, could undermine the chances of an investigation.

President Kaczynski, his wife, and 94 others were killed when their aircraft crashed as it came in to land at a military airfield near Smolensk in western Russia.

"Experts still have no access to the Polish presidential plane wreckage," Sebastian Kaleta told an RMF FM radio programme on Tuesday.

"And this is a fundamental problem for the investigation," he said, adding that this was making the inquiry difficult but "not impossible to be carried out."

The plane wreckage, stored in the region of the Smolensk-North military airport, has not yet been returned to Poland despite multiple appeals to the Russian authorities.

Kaleta added that the prosecution would start evaluating all evidence after it had received a final report by international experts.

"The full truth about the air disaster is still unknown to us. The report presented on Monday by Antoni Macierewicz is an important step on the path leading to finding out all the circumstances," Kaleta said.

Macierewicz, head of a special sub-committee investigating the cause of the air disaster, said on Monday that the incident was a result of "an act of unlawful interference."

Two official investigations into the disaster concluded it was an accident, but Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the twin of the late president and leader of Law and Justice (PiS), the governing party, has always maintained his brother was assassinated. 

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