Plane crash relatives say they were given wrong bodies
25 June 2004
MADRID — At least 22 bodies of soldiers killed in a controversial plane crash were wrongly identified by authorities, it emerged Friday.
Relatives of those who died in the air crash have called for the former Defence Minister Federico Trillo to answer for the mistake.
The Association of Relatives of the Victims demanded Trillo, who was a minister at the time of the tragedy, should resign as a deputy from the Spanish parliament.
In May last year, 62 soldiers returning to Spain from a peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan died when their plane, a Yak-42, crashed in Turkey.
The tragedy has proved highly controversial in Spain with the former government claiming Nato should have provided a better quality plane.
Relatives of those who died were initially told that DNA tests conducted on the remains of the bodies of the soldiers corresponded with the soldiers who were buried in Spain.
Carlos Ripollés, president of the relatives group, confirmed that DNA tests showed that at least 22 bodies were wrongly identified at the time they were returned to Spain for funerals.
Families of another 23 soldiers, who did originally not want to submit their relatives remains to DNA analysis, have now asked for this to happen.
Relatives have also called for the politicians and military figures responsible for the scandal to answer for their errors.
They want to put the errors right and find out which of the bodies were really of their loved-ones.
But in at least 14 cases this will not be possible as the bodies were so badly burnt.
The present minister of Defence, José Bono, said that when the facts were clear about DNA results, he would address parliament on the issue.
Bono added: “We want to contribute in this way to truth and transparency. We are not trying to vindicate or judge but to find transparency.”
Bono also added that if some military figures were found to have made serious errors, the government would have to “conform with the law”.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news