Smolensk plane crash: Tusk testifies

Former Polish prime minister Donald Tusk has testified before a Warsaw court in the Smolensk plane crash case. Tusk, who is currently EU Council president, denied allegations that he and his former colleagues connived with Vladimir Putin in a plan to attack the presidential aircraft. His court appearance has caused a furore in Polish media.

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Gazeta Polska Codziennie (PL) /

A brazen denial of guilt

The pro-PiS daily Gazeta Polska Codziennie has long been convinced that Smolensk plane crash was a deliberate attack. It calls on Donald Tusk to assume responsibility for the tragedy:

“All Poland witnessed Tusk's impudence when he lectured the lawyers of the victims on what they were permitted to ask the 'king of Europe'. The show put on by Tusk yesterday would perhaps even have been funny were this not about a matter of fundamental importance: the death of 96 people, including the president of the Republic of Poland. And if it wasn't the former Polish prime minister [Tusk] remaining silent on the question of who was responsible for that death. ... Let us hope that he will be held to account.”

Polityka (PL) /

Honesty and truth win the day

Donald Tusk skilfully avoided being used for PiS propaganda in court, Polityka notes approvingly:

“Just a few weeks after the tragedy the false theory was propagated of a conspiracy between Tusk and Putin, and it still haunts certain sections of the right and even some of the victims' families. Tusk's plan for his testimony on Monday was simple: to honestly tell what he knows about the political context of the ill-fated state visit and blame no one for it. ... Tusk's plan worked according to the old rule: if you don't know what to say just tell the truth. If you don't know how to behave in a situation just behave decently.”