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asb presents to EU Parliamentary Assembly

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asb law aviation claims expert presents to European Parliamentary Assembly hearing on Smolensk plane crash

The Legal Affairs and Human Rights committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) convened last week in Paris for a special hearing relating to the air crash of the Polish Air Force Tu-154 transporting a Polish delegation over Russia.

On April 10 2010, a plane carrying President Kaczynski and 95 other people including Poland’s top officials crashed in Russia, near the Smolensk military airport.

The PACE committee hearing last week was the first of several scheduled to take place over the next six months in which the PACE rapporteur will highlight the need for further detailed analysis of the wreckage, which is yet to be returned to Poland.

asb law’s  aviation claims specialist, Tim Brymer, presented information in support of the rapporteur’s investigation. After the hearing, he commented, “The existence of two independent safety enquiries into an accident involving a State aircraft, ostensibly conducted according to the civil standards and recommended practices imposed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), is unique. In this case it does not appear that the relevant standards regarding preservation and return of evidence/wreckage have been fully complied with.

“Parallel criminal investigations continue in both Poland and Russia, although the status of these is unknown. The on-going delay in sharing evidence and information in order to precisely establish cause and prevent recurrence is regrettable. It is, sadly, yet another example of the general conflict which exists between the objective to promote aviation safety and the demand to hold individuals personally accountable. As a well known philosopher opined, ‘those who do not learn from history are forced to repeat it’.”


The committee is scheduled to convene again in April 2016.

Author:ASB Law