Prosecutor wants temporary detainment order for Smolensk flight controllers

The National Prosecutor's Office applied to the District Court in Warsaw for a temporary detainment order for three flight controllers who were on duty on April 10, 2010 on the day of the presidential plane crash at the airport in Smolensk-North, the spokesman of the National Prosecutor's Office Ewa Bialik announced on Wednesday evening.

This is the first step to issuing an international arrest warrant. After a court issues a decision on temporary detention of the suspects, investigators will be able to take steps to detain them.

In the opinion of prosecutors, the suspects - by allowing the plane to descend and a conditional trial approach to landing - had anticipated that a catastrophe might occur and agreed to it nevertheless. This means deliberately bringing about an air traffic disaster, resulting in multiple casualties.

Earlier, the prosecutor's office decided to change the charges against the Russian controllers from accidentally causing a catastrophe to taking a deliberate action.

On April 10, 2010, the Polish presidential Tu-154M plane crashed near Smolensk, western Russia. All 96 passengers and members of the crew, including then president Lech Kaczyński and the First Lady Maria Kaczyńska, were killed.