Poland pays tribute to President Kaczynski

Monday 12 April 2010 22.32
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Warsaw - Mourners gather to pay respect
Warsaw - Mourners gather to pay respect
Poland - Prime Minster Donald Tusk remembers crash victims
Poland - Prime Minster Donald Tusk remembers crash victims

Lech Kaczynski

Poland is continuing to mourn the death of President Lech Kaczynski who died in a plane crash near the Russian city of Smolensk on Saturday.

Tens of thousands of Poles are expected to travel to the presidential palace in the capital Warsaw tomorrow where the body will lie in state.

Thousands gathered yesterday along the route of the motorcade that carried the coffin from the military airport yesterday.

Mourners are expected to queue at the palace to pay their respects to the president.

The body of his wife Maria was identified this morning along with a number of senior officials.

Russian investigators say they are studying the Tupolev Tu-154's black box flight recorders.

They are insisting that the pilot ignored warnings by air traffic control not to land at Smolensk airport because of heavy fog.

Relatives of the other 95 people on board have flown to Moscow and it could be several days before all the bodies are repatriated to Poland.

The delegation had been due to attend a ceremony commemorating a 1940 Soviet massacre in the nearby Katyn forest of thousands of Poles captured in World War II.

No decision has been taken yet on the date for a funeral.

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid tribute to Mr Kaczynski's political life.

She said: 'There is no doubt in my mind that Poland will continue to move forward to a better future. I have great confidence in the future of Poland.'

Polish Ambassador to Ireland Tadeusz Szumowski has opened a book of condolence at the Polish Embassy in Dublin.

It is available today, tomorrow and Wednesday from 10am until 8pm. The embassy is at 12 Ailesbury Road in Ballsbridge.