Poland's former president, wife reburied after new autopsy

AP News
Posted: Nov 18, 2016 3:03 PM
Poland's former president, wife reburied after new autopsy

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's former president, Lech Kaczynski, and his wife, were reburied on Friday following exhumations and post-mortems required for the new investigation into the 2010 plane crash that killed them and 94 others.

The Catholic reburial service for the couple took place at St. Leonard's Crypt at the Wawel Cathedral in Krakow, where many of Poland's royals and writers are buried.

President Andrzej Duda, first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda and Prime Minister Beata Szydlo attended. The homily was said by Krakow Archishop, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz who was personal secretary to the late pope St. John Paul II.

The late president's twin brother, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who is ruling conservative party leader, and the presidential couple's daughter Marta Kaczynska were also present in the small crypt.

The tomb where the couple originally was laid to rest was damaged in the exhumation. A new one was crafted from white Carrara marble in two days, with Poland's national emblem, the crowned eagle on it and the couple's dates of birth and death.

The bodies of Kaczynski and his wife, Maria Kaczynska, were submitted for detailed autopsies that aim to determine the cause of their deaths and of the crash in Russia.

Separate investigations done by Poland and Russia right after the crash concluded it resulted from crew errors in bad weather. However, suspicion still surrounds the accident, in part because the identifications and post-mortems performed in Russia were flawed.

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Many followers of Jaroslaw Kaczynski think the plane was downed by an intended blast and blame Russia and Poland's prime minister at the time, Donald Tusk, who is now the president of the European Union.

Analyst Marek Migalski said Kaczynski's Law and Justice party is fueling these beliefs because they consolidate the party's electorate.

The private RMF FM radio station says it has learned unofficially that the couple's injuries appear typical for a plane crash, not for an explosion.

Officials have said the findings from the new autopsies are expected within four months.