Polish prosecutors said on Tuesday they would reopen the coffins of all victims of a 2010 presidential jet crash to examine the remains, a move likely to deepen political divisions surrounding the investigation.

The crash near Smolensk, in western Russia, killed 96 people including Poland’s president, Lech Kaczynski, and his wife, as well as the central bank chief, top army brass and several lawmakers.

An inquiry by the previous centrist government returned a verdict of pilot error, but the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, led by Kaczynski’s twin brother Jaroslaw, says the crash may have been caused by an explosion on board.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski has also repeatedly accused the then prime minister, Donald Tusk, now head of the European Council, of being indirectly responsible for the crash through negligence.

The prosecutors’ decision to exhume all uncremated victims’ remains comes months after the government merged the posts of prosecutor-general and justice minister, giving itself more direct control over the investigation.

It also follows the ruling conservatives’ decision to relaunch a government investigation into the case. At a ceremony marking the relaunch, the defence minister, Antoni Macierewicz, said the plane “disintegrated” metres above the ground.

The move is likely to strain relations with Russia already fragile over the Ukraine crisis. Although PiS has never accused Russia of orchestrating the president’s death, it has said the Kremlin benefited from the crash.

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