Polish and Lithuanian investigators obtain black boxes from Ryanair plane that landed in Minsk

A prosecutor from Poland and employees of the Polish Internal Security Agency visited Lithuania a few weeks ago. Together with Lithuanian colleagues, they investigated the forced landing of a plane in Minsk.

Sample image. Ryanair plane. Photo: Niall Carson / PA Images / Forum

According to the Polish edition of RMF24, investigators were working on the Ryanair plane, which was forcibly grounded in Minsk on May 23 after the Belarusian side reported a bomb on board.

Investigators collected evidence, including documents and data from recorders, including the so-called black boxes – investigators now have the original recording of conversations with Belarusian air traffic controllers. Investigators also performed other activities on the plane, which is now at Vilnius airport.

In addition, the investigators have interviewed many witnesses traveling on that plane.

The activities of a joint Polish-Lithuanian team are coordinated by Eurojust, an agency of the European Union responsible for international judicial cooperation. The case is being investigated for “using deception and threats to take control of the plane, endangering the lives and health of many people and taking into captivity the crew and passengers of the plane.”

On May 23, a Ryanair plane made an emergency landing in Minsk after the crew had received information about the “bomb” from the Belarusian air traffic controllers. On Lukashenka’s order, a MiG-29 fighter jet was escorting the passenger plane. The blogger Raman Pratasevich and his girlfriend Sofiya Sapega were detained.

The incident with the Ryanair flight caused an international scandal: politicians, diplomats, and international organizations condemned the actions of the Belarusian authorities. The incident with the flight Athens-Vilnius led to the introduction of tough sanctions against the regime of Alyaksandr Lukashenka.