Russia charges four over Kaczynski crash theft
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Russia charged four of its soldiers on Tuesday for stealing credit cards from a corpse of after the plane crash that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski.
The four were conscripts who worked at the military airport in western Russia where Kaczynski’s plane crashed on 10 April.
They used the credit card to withdraw 6,000 zlotys (1,500 euros) from the bank account of Andrezej Przewoznik, a 46-year-old historian and official in charge of memorial sites, who died in the crash.
“Today, four soldiers have been charged with theft," the Investigative Committee of the Russian Prosecutor's Office said in a statement, adding that the conscripts had been inside the police cordon following the crash.
"All four suspects have confessed and are actively cooperating with investigators," the statement said.
The culprits, Sergei Syrov, Igor Pustovar, Artur Pankratov and Yury Sankov have been charged with premeditated theft by a group and could face up to five years in jail.
Polish officials had already announced on 6 June their arrest for posthumously defrauding one of its top national heritage officials. But the Russian Interior Ministry denied this was the case at the time.
The Russian Defence Ministry will pay back the stolen money and issue an apology "as soon as a court has established the guilt and responsibility of the suspected conscripts", spokesperson Alexei Kuznetsov said Tuesday.
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