Trial starts over air crash which killed 71 people

15th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

15 May 2007, BUELACH, Switzerland (AP) - Nearly five years after an airliner collision killed 71 people over southern Germany, eight employees of the Swiss company responsible for air traffic control in the region went on trial Tuesday.

15 May 2007

BUELACH, Switzerland (AP) - Nearly five years after an airliner collision killed 71 people over southern Germany, eight employees of the Swiss company responsible for air traffic control in the region went on trial Tuesday.

The employees, who were not identified by name, are charged with negligent homicide and negligently disturbing public transport. All deny any responsibility for the collision of a Russian airliner and a cargo plane in the airspace supervised by the Skyguide air navigation service.

Prosecutors have called for them to receive suspended prison sentences of six to 15 months.

The crash on July 1, 2002, near the German town of Ueberlingen killed the two pilots of a DHL cargo plane and 69 people in a Bashkirian Airlines jet taking 49 children on a holiday trip to Spain.

An investigation by German and Swiss authorities concluded that a series of technical and organizational failures as well as negligence on the part of Skyguide were responsible for the crash.

The sole air traffic controller working at the time of the incident, Danish-born Peter Nielsen, was stabbed to death in 2004 by a Russian architect who lost his wife and children in the crash.

Vitaly Kaloyev was sentenced to eight years in prison for premeditated homicide in 2005, but the decision is currently being appealed by both the defense and prosecution.

The trial of the eight Skyguide employees, at the district court in Buelach, is due to last until May 30.

[Copyright AP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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