Donald Tusk goes home to Poland for plane crash hearing

Donald Tusk goes home to Poland for plane crash hearing

European Council President Donald Tusk will be questioned about his role in the 2010 Smolensk air crash today. The crash killed several

Photo: AP/DPA

Photo: AP/DPA

European Council President Donald Tusk will be questioned about his role in the 2010 Smolensk air crash today.

The crash killed several of Poland’s top political and military leaders, including then-President Lech Kaczynski, whose brother Jaroslaw Kaczynski heads the governing right-wing populist Law and Justice Party. Kaczynski leads the country

The government blames Mr Tusk—Poland’s prime minister at the time—for the crash; Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz has event accused Tusk of colluding with Russia in downing the jet. While the crash was officially attributed to pilot failure, Law and Justice has exploited the tragedy time and again to portray its political opponents—particularly Mr Tusk’s centre-right Civic Platform—as traitors.

This strategy, however, comes at a price. Two years after the election that swept Kaczynski and his party back into power, the country is internally divided and isolated in Brussels over the attempt to bring the justice system under the government’s control. While Tusk’s testimony is unlikely to unearth new findings, expect the political climate to be poisoned further in the months to come.