Controllers have more time for defense
Lawyers for the four air traffic controllers, indicted in the trial investigating the crash of the Gol Boeing in the north of Mato Grosso, have until the 28th to present their written defense [opening statement] to the Single Federal Court of Sinop.
The first deadline was up today, but the defense asked for an extension and the federal judge of Sinop, Murilo Mendes, granted the request. Lawyers for North American pilots Jan Paul Paladino and Joseph Lepore have already presented an opening statement, which is with the magistrate for analysis.
After the other defendants in the case present their defense, the Federal judge will analyze the content and decide if he will accept some of the defense's theses. He could determine the summary absolution of the accused or determine that the trial continue, which in this case would enter a new phase.
If the magistrate decides that the trial will continue, the next step will be the phase of instruction, of expert examinations and the questioning of the witnesses listed by the pilots, controllers, and the Prosecutors' Office (MP).
Last will be the interrogation of the defendants, the pilots - who still have not been heard - and the controllers, who have already been heard once, in August of 2007. They will be heard again due to the new Law nº 11.719, which went into effect in August of this year, establishing changes in the structure of the stages of the procedure. Under the new legislation, the defendants can be heard last in the trial, after the all the other stages have taken place.
The accident with the Gol Boeing 737, which was making Gol Flight 1907 starting from Manaus, happened on September 29, 2006, after the aircraft collided with a Legacy business jet, piloted by the North Americans. With the crash, 154 people died, among the passenger and crew. None of the occupants of the Legacy, manufactured by Embraer, suffered any injury in the collision.