* Paper said traces of explosives were found in wreckage
* But prosecutors denied the report
* Daily fires top editors, author of controversial article
By Chris Borowski
WARSAW, Nov 6 One of Poland's best-selling
newspapers fired its most senior editors on Tuesday over a
"flawed" article that triggered a political row when it said
traces of explosives had been found in the wreckage of a
presidential jet that crashed in 2010.
Polish prosecutors denied a report last week by the
Rzeczpospolita daily which alleged they had found traces of TNT
and nitro-glycerine on the wings and in the cabin of the jet,
which killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski and 95 others when
it crashed in Russia two years ago.
The report, which cited unnamed sources, prompted the
late-president's twin brother and opposition leader Jaroslaw
Kaczynski to lash out at Prime Minister Donald Tusk over his
handling of the affair, which he called a "heinous crime".
In a statement in Rzeczpospolita's Tuesday edition, its
supervisory board said it had recommended that Editor-in-Chief
Tomasz Wroblewski, his top deputy, and the two leaders of the
national section be dismissed.
"The reporters associated with the publication did not have
the grounds to state that traces of TNT and nitro-glycerine were
found in the wreckage," the newspaper said. "We deem the text to
be flawed and inadequately documented."
The board also asked for the author of the article to be
fired after he failed to provide any written proof to back up
Grzegorz Hajderowicz, Rzeczpospolita's owner and the head of
its supervisory board, confirmed the sackings had taken place.
"Consequences have to be paid for wrong decisions, hence the
dismissals and disciplinary firings," he said in a separate
statement on the paper's website.
Rightist groups led by Kaczynski's Law and Justice party
have accused investigators of failing to unearth the real reason
for the crash with many suggesting that Warsaw and Moscow have
colluded in a cover-up.
Official reports say the jet crashed into the ground after
losing one of its wings when it clipped a birch tree on its
approach to a small airport in Smolensk, western Russia.
Russian investigators blamed the Polish crew for trying to
land in heavy fog and misjudging their altitude, while their
Polish counterparts said the Russian airport controllers should
not have allowed the plane to attempt such an approach.
Polish military prosecutors said evidence of high energy
particles had been found in the wreckage, but cautioned such
material often yielded false positives, saying the samples would
require further testing to determine whether there were traces
of explosives too.
Prosecutors have admitted that at least four victims in the
plane crash were misidentified and given to the wrong families
to be buried, fuelling conspiracy theories.
(Editing by Andrew Osborn)