WARSAW, Poland (AP) – A repeat burial was held on Saturday for Poland’s last president-in-exile, whose body was misidentified and buried in the wrong grave following the 2010 plane crash in Russia that killed 96 people.
A funeral Mass attended by family members was held for Ryszard Kaczorowski at Warsaw’s Temple of God’s Providence and then the body was laid to rest in the church’s vaults, with military honors.
Forensic experts confirmed last week that his body had been confused with that of another victim and was buried in the wrong grave. Officials would not release the name of the other victim or the time of his re-burial.
It was the second time that repeat burials were held for a pair of victims whose identities were confused by family members and Polish officials after the plane crash that killed President Lech Kaczynski and many top state and military officials.
Doubts over the identification arose in some cases after post mortem documents arrived from Russia this year. At least four more exhumations are planned, in a situation embarrassing for Poland’s officials and straining already tepid relations with Russia.
Kaczorowski, age 90 at the time of the crash, was the last president of Poland’s government-in-exile in London from 1989-90. The government was established during World War II, when Poland was under German Nazi occupation and cooperated with the Allies.
It cultivated the nation’s democratic tradition while Poland was under communist rule. In 1990, Kaczorowski symbolically passed on the power to Poland’s democratically elected president, Lech Walesa.
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