Police inspector promises to name those responsible for TAM accident by October
Agencia Brasil reporter
Brasilia - Police inspector Antonio Carlos Menezes Barbosa said today, August 16, that he will not wait for the end of the investigation by the Center for the Investigation and Prevention of Aeronautic Accidents (Cenipa) to present to the Prosecutors' Office his conclusions on the causes and those responsible for the accident with TAM Flight 3054, which resulted in the death of 199 people in July of 2007.
Responsible for the Civil Police inquiry in São Paulo, Barbosa affirmed to relatives and friends of the victims, whom he met with in Brasilia, that by October he should accuse seven or eight people he believes contributed to the tragedy.
"We aren't specialists in aircraft, but I don't depend on Cenipa's report to finish mine. I'll do it without Cenipa's", said the police inspector, clarifying that while the military body linked to the Air Force looks to identify the causes of accidents to make recommendations that will increase flight safety, the police investigation seeks to indicate those to blame so that they may be judged.
In contrast to the majority of relatives of the victims, who want to see those responsible accused of murder (where there is intent to kill), the inspector defends that the best strategy is an indictment for manslaughter (where there is no intention).
"In our view, there is not, at the moment, any way to talk of reckless endangerment, but rather of manslaughter. For reckless endangerment, we'd have to allow that the people had taken on the risk [of killing] and gone ahead with the conduct. It's not the case. The investigation points to imprudence, negligence, and blame, forms of crime without intent", he affirmed.
The charge, however, will be up to the Prosecutors' Office, which will analyze the police report before deciding if it will or will not return an indictment to the Judicial Power against the people named by the inspector.
"We want the most serious [accusation] for them, but we have to follow the legal rules. As a police inspector, I think that the accusation has to be manslaughter. This doesn't harm the investigation and will speed up the process. It's better to present it as manslaughter and let it become murder [during the trial] to not have the problem of the statute of limitations. Time can't pass because the truth is escaping, the facts are being forgotten. The quicker the better".
Also present at the meeting with the victims' relatives, the São Paulo Criminalistic Institute expert Antônio Nogueira affirmed that it is not at the moment possible to say that the throttles of the aircraft were in the wrong position at the moment of landing. "With what was left of the throttle mechanism, it's not possible to determine their position. By interpreting the black box, the only thing that can be determined is that one [throttle] was in climb [the acceleration position] and the other one activated for maximum reverse". The expert said he would prefer not to "cogitate" on whether there was or was not pilot failure. His official report should be finished in September.
August 15, 2008 - 16:09 - Last modification on August 15, 1008 - 17:01
Relatives of TAM victims ask for large readjustment of indemnities
Agência Brazil reporter
Brasilia - The relatives of the victims of TAM flight JJ 3054 want the National Civil Aviation Agency (Anac) to review the value of the readjustment of the obligatory insurance (Reta) that the aviation companies must pay in case of accidents. Today (August 15), in a meeting with the agency's director, Marcelo Guaranys, the relatives' representatives allege that, by the calculations of the São Paulo Prosecutors' Office, the value of the indemnities should reach R$ 140,000. Last Monday, (August 11), Anac determined that the value to be paid is R$ 40,950
According to the president of the Association of Relatives of the Victims of Flight JJ 3054, Dário Scott, the readjustment of National Treasury Obligations (OTN), which serve as the basis for the calculation of indemnities, should be calculated from 1986, the year of the creation of the Brazilian Aeronautic Code. As for Anac, it justified that the correction be done from 1995, the year of the last update done by the Brazilian Insurance Institute (IRB).
"We think that the readjustment should be calculated from 1986 to now. We emphasize the importance of raising the value of the obligatory insurance so that, if eventually other families are in the same situation, the value of the indemnity will be, at least, sufficient for them not to be vulnerable", said Scott.
For him, the increase in the obligatory insurance will also have a "pedagogical" effect in stimulating the airlines to invest more in safety. "If the companies know that they are going to have to pay a higher obligatory insurance, they are going to run fewer risks with their passengers' lives", he emphasized.
According to the Brazilian Aeronautic Code, in case of an accident with death or bodily injury the carrier is obliged to pay an indemnity of 3,500 OTNs. Today, after the readjustment announced by Anac at the beginning of the week, an OTN corresponds to R$ 11,70.
In a note, Anac informed that the readjustment was determined in accordance with the Table of Monetary Correction for Condemnations in General, which applies the Special Ample National Consumer Price Index (IPCA-E), from 2001 on.
Tomorrow, August 16, at 10:00, the relatives' representatives will be meeting with directors of the National Center for Investigation and Prevention of Accidents (Cenipa) to watch the simulation of the accident with TAM airplane 3054. Besides this, Scott informed that the progress of the criminal investigation of the accident will also be discussed.