Swiss air controller killer to be freed early

8th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

8 November 2007, Lausanne, Switzerland (dpa) - The Russian who killed a Swiss air traffic controller in the wake of the mid-air collision disaster in mid-2002 could soon be freed, the Swiss Federal Court ruled Thursday. The judge agreed that the Russian man's sentence should be reduced from eight years to five years and three months imprisonment, dismissing an appeal to block the move. The air traffic controller working for Skyguide was on duty the night 71 people died when a cargo plane and a Tupolev pass

8 November 2007

Lausanne, Switzerland (dpa) - The Russian who killed a Swiss air traffic controller in the wake of the mid-air collision disaster in mid-2002 could soon be freed, the Swiss Federal Court ruled Thursday.

The judge agreed that the Russian man's sentence should be reduced from eight years to five years and three months imprisonment, dismissing an appeal to block the move.

The air traffic controller working for Skyguide was on duty the night 71 people died when a cargo plane and a Tupolev passenger aircraft collided in Swiss-controlled air space over Ueberlingen in Germany on July 1, 2002.

The passenger plane was carrying 69 people, mainly Russian school children on a trip, including the wife and children of the convicted Russian.

The 51-year-old Russian waited for the air traffic controller outside his home near Zurich and stabbed him to death in February, 2004. He was jailed for eight years in 2005 but a second court later reduced the sentence. The state prosecutor appealed against the decision and the subsequent granting of probation.

The Swiss Federal Court held up the shorter sentence Thursday agreeing that the Russian had been suffering from diminished responsibility at the time of the murder.

Under Swiss law, as the Russian has now served almost two-thirds of the new sentence he could soon be freed.

In September four Skyguide employees and contractors were handed sentences after a court found them guilty of manslaughter through negligence in connection with the air disaster.

Skyguide was criticised for leaving one officer on duty at a time when maintenance work left

him ill-equipped to deal with the events that followed. Three managers were given 12 month suspended prison sentences and a contractor a suspended fine.

DPA

Subject: German news

0 Comments To This Article