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Mikolaj Przybyl addresses reporters shortly before asking for a 5-minute "break" - during which he shot himself. Screen grab from YouTube

Polish military prosecutor survives after shooting himself at press conference

Mikolaj Przybyl had been defending leaks from an official investigation into the death of former president Lech Kaczynski.

A PROSECUTOR from the Polish military shot himself in the head moments after cutting short a press conference on the investigation into the death of the country’s former president.

Colonel Mikolaj Przybyl was answering questions from reporters on leaks into the official investigation into the death of Lech Kaczynski – who died in a air crash in 2010 – when he asked them to leave him for a few moments to take “a rest”.

This request came after Przybyl had vociferously denied allegations that prosecutors in the city of Poznan had unlawfully tapped phone conversations and text messages sent by journalists covering the investigation into the accident.

He had also read a statement in which he objected to plans of the Prosecutor General to bring military prosecutors under his own civilian jurisdiction.

AFP said the reporters had only just stepped out of his office when they heard a loud bang – and thought, at first, that the sound was that of a TV camera falling over.

When they re-entered the room they found Przybyl on the ground, surrounded by a pool of blood. Footage obtained by Polish station TVN24 – whose camera was left running – showed him walking across the room and out of sight before a gunshot is heard.

That footage is contained in this video, uploaded to YouTube by TelegraphTV.

Przybyl was still breathing when he was found, has been removed to a hospital in Poznan. Hospital officials there told Polish media that his life was not in danger, though his skull has sustained heavy damage.

The current president Bronislaw Komorowski has appointed a special taskforce to oversee the situation.

AP reports that members of the Polish parliament have called for a special inquiry into the matters, saying the events allude to major corruption within Poland’s military forces.

Kaczynski and 95 others – including his wife, the governor of the Central Bank and military chiefs – were killed when their plane crashed in thick fog in western Russia in April 2010. The accident was blamed on pilot error.

The group had been travelling to a memorial service for Polish officers who were slaughtered by the Soviet Union’s secret police in 1940.

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