Judicial inquiry into air crash scandal

15th July 2004, Comments 0 comments

15 July 2004, MADRID — A judicial inquiry is to be carried out into Spain's worst peacetime military air crash, legal sources said Thursday.

15 July 2004

MADRID — A judicial inquiry is to be carried out into Spain's worst peacetime military air crash, legal sources said Thursday.

Sixty-two Spanish soldiers were killed on their way home from a peace-keeping mission from Afghanistan when the ageing Ukrainian Yak-42 aircraft they were travelling in crashed in Turkey in May last year.

It became a scandal after a series of mistakes surrounding the tragedy were uncovered.

The Spanish government was later forced to admit that at least 22 of the soldiers' bodies were mixed-up when they were returned to Spain for state funerals.

Post-mortems were rushed and the wrong soldiers were identified.

The defence minister Jose Bono also told parliament last week that there were faults with the aircraft itself.

Two generals have been sacked over the affair.

The Audencia Nacional, Spain's top court, said it will carry out the inquiry which will centre on whether any offences were carried out in relation to the aircraft itself or the mix-up of the bodies of the soldiers after the tragedy.

It will examine if death certificates issued by military medics for the wrong soldiers could constitute criminal offences.

The relatives of the victims have called for the resignation of the former defence minister Federico Trillo, who apologised in parliament but refused to resign as a deputy.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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