Investigation after Yak-42 compensation cut
6 September 2004, MADRID - The Spanish Minister of Defence has ordered an investigation after the compensation paid to relatives of victims in the country's worst peacetime military air crash was reduced from EUR 62,000 to just EUR 16,500, it was reported Monday.
6 September 2004
MADRID - The Spanish Minister of Defence has ordered an investigation after the compensation paid to relatives of victims in the country's worst peacetime military air crash was reduced from EUR 62,000 to just EUR 16,500, it was reported Monday.
In May last year, 62 soldiers died when the ageing Yak-42 plane they were travelling back to Spain in from a peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan crashed in Turkey.
The tragedy descended into a scandal when the Spanish government later admitted they had wrongly identified the bodies of the dead soldiers when they were hastily brought back home for state funerals.
The affair has already led to the sacking of two generals.
It emerged last week that DNA tests later proved 30 soldiers whose bodies were analysed by Spanish medical teams in rushed autopsies were wrongly identified.
But the 32 soldiers whose remains were analysed by Turkish medics were correctly identified.
Angry relatives crash have demanded Federico Trillo, the former Popular Party Defence Secretary at the time of the tragedy, resign from his position as a deputy in the Spanish parliament.
Trillo has apologised but so far refused to resign as the scandal shows signs of escalating.
Now in a fresh twist to the scandal, defence minister José Bono revealed in an interview with the Spanish daily El Mundo he had ordered the probe after it emerged that insurance payments to a cousin of one of the soldiers who died were reduced because three subcontractors were involved.
Initially, the contract said if the soldier died his family would be paid EUR 62,000.
But eventually the amount was reduced to just EUR 16,500 because three subcontractors were involved.
Bono had not been informed of this cut in compensation.
After the row blew up over the pay-out, the Defence department decided to pay the relatives the full amount.
The government only received EUR 16,500 from the insurance company and it decided to take the company to court.
The result of the investigation will not be made public until it is completed at the end of this month, Bono told the newspaper.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news