March 14, 2016 / 9:38 AM / 4 years ago

Russia calls Polish comments on Smolensk air crash ridiculous

Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz speaks during a ceremony to announce the decision of relaunching an inquiry into the death of President Lech Kaczynski in a plane crash in Russia in 2010, in Warsaw, Poland February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Slawomir Kaminski/Agencja Gazeta

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The chief spokesman of the Russian state agency that investigates crime on Monday described as ridiculous and silly comments by Poland’s defense minister that foul play caused the 2010 plane crash that killed the then Polish president.

Vladimir Markin, spokesman for Russia’s Investigative Committee, posted on Twitter a link to an article about the defense minister’s comments and attached the accompanying comment: “An unexpected front-runner has emerged in the contest for the most ridiculous and silly statements.”

The Polish minister, Antoni Macierewicz, said the 2010 crash in Smolensk, western Russia - in which 96 people were killed including president Lech Kaczynski - “was aimed at depriving Poland of the leadership who led our nation towards independence.”

A previous Polish official inquiry concluded an error by the Polish pilots caused the crash.

Reporting by Christian Lowe; Editing by Andrew Osborn

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