General faces jail over crash dead's false IDs

9th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

General faces jail over crash dead's false IDs

General faces jail over crash dead's false IDs

9 November 2007

Madrid - Nearly four and a half years after the biggest peacetime disaster in the history of the Spanish army - the Yakovlev-42 plane crash that killed 62 soldiers in May 2003 in Trabzon, Turkey - the legal investigation is near the end.

A general and two medical officers who identified the bodies are charged with fraud, a crime that carries prison terms of up to six years.

Public prosecutors consider it proven that only 32 bodies were properly identified at the Turkish morgue.

The other identities were randomly assigned by General Vicente Navarro Ruiz, placed in charge of the operation personally by then-Defense Minister Federico Trillo of the Popular Party. As a result of this random identification, 30 bodies were returned to the wrong families.

The erroneous identities are reflected in the death certificates and autopsy reports, which constitutes public document fraud.

The Ukrainian plane crashed on May 28 as a contingent stationed in Afghanistan was returning home.

The entire forensic investigation took under 24 hours. Although a Civil Guard team of specialists was ready to travel to Turkey, Trillo claimed the bodies were in good condition and easily identifiable.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL./ MIGUEL GONZÁLEZ 2007]

Subject: Spanish news


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