not yet clear if both bodies -- that of Kaczorowski and the other unnamed male
fatality -- were buried in corresponding graves. What is clear is that the
identification of passengers' remains was less than accurate in the hours and
days following the fatal crash.
Polish government has tried its best to soften the political damage of the exhumations.
In late September, Prime Minister Donald Tusk stood before the Polish
parliament (Sejm) and apologized to
the victims' families for the incorrect identification of their loved ones, and
said he took full responsibility for the Polish state's mistake.
in response to the exhumations of Anna Walentynowicz, one of the founders and
heroes of the country's Solidarity movement of the 1980s, and Teresa
Walewska-Przyjalkowska, a scientist and well-known social activist. It wasn't
long before officials discovered that both of those bodies had been wrongly
remains of Walentynowicz and Walewska-Przyjalkowska were re-buried in
ceremonies held on September 28 and October 2, respectively.
no doubt hoping that these exhumations will be the last. However, they probably
won't be. Military prosecutors say that two further exhumations will be carried
out before the end of this year. There have already been seven such exhumations
to-date. A leading Polish newspaper, Gazeta
Wyborcza, has reported that the
final total for the exhumations may reach 15.
extremely Catholic country, supporters of the conservative opposition's Law
& Justice party are seeing the "mis-burials" of well-known figureheads -- now
martyrs to many -- as an abomination.
& Justice leader Jarosław Kaczynski -- the twin brother of deceased
president Lech Kaczynski -- has gone so far as to suggest that the Smolensk
tragedy was no accident. Russian conspiracy theories have long circulated among
Law & Justice supporters.
this comes at a very delicate time for Tusk's ruling Civic Platform party and
its coalition partners, which holds a slender four-seat majority in a 460-seat parliament.
burials may not threaten to topple Tusk, but Law & Justice is gaining ground.
According to one recent poll, Civic Platform now trails Law & Justice by six
points. That's a sizeable turnaround considering that Tusk's party garnered 39
percent of the vote in last year's parliamentary election, 10 points clear of
Law & Justice.
Tuesday, the conservative newspaper Rzeczpospolita
ran a story claiming that traces of explosive material had been found
amongst the wreckage of the Tupolev-154, the ill-fated aircraft that carried
President Kaczynski and his entire entourage.
accusation prompted the living Kaczynski to declare: "I think that it is true."
He later told reporters that "Tusk is a man who has a rather vague idea of
democracy," comparing him to Poland's Communist-era leader General Jaruzelski.
The barbs were personal and nasty. On Wednesday however, Rzeczpospolita retracted the story, saying that it had "made a