Concorde trial verdict set for December

28th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

The trial over the Concorde crash that killed 113 people in Paris in 2000 ended on Friday after four months and the French court said it would give a verdict on December 6.

A lawyer for US company Continental Airlines gave his closing arguments on the final day of the trial, which seeks to establish who was to blame for the crash, in which most of those killed were German passengers.

Continental is the main defendant along with two of its employees and three French former aviation officials.

Prosecutors have called for a two-year suspended jail term for engineer Henri Perrier, a former director of the Concorde programme, and a 175,000-euro (220,000-dollar) fine against Continental Airlines.

They cite experts who said the Concorde was brought down by a strip of metal on the runway that had fallen off a Continental jet that took off just before the Concorde.

They also called for 18-month suspended sentences against two of Continental's US employees -- John Taylor, a mechanic who allegedly fitted the non-standard strip, and airline chief of maintenance Stanley Ford.

Continental has maintained the Concorde caught fire before hitting the metal strip from its aircraft.

The New York-bound Air France Concorde smashed into a hotel in a ball of fire just after take-off from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport on July 25, 2000, sounding the death knell for commercial supersonic travel.

© 2010 AFP

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