quinta-feira, 30 de setembro de 2010

MT Judge authorizes testimony of pilots' colleagues in Gol case

MT Judge authorizes testimony of pilots' colleagues in Gol case
North Americans who work with defendants can testify in Brasil
Lepore e Paladino respondem por acidente aéreo que ocorreu em 2006.

Nathália Duarte of G1, in São Paulo

Foreign colleagues who work with the Legacy jet pilots, Joe Lepore and Jan Paladino, may testify as defense witnesses in the trial that is judging the pair for responsibility in the accident with Gol Flight 1907, which took place on September 29, 2006. The decision was released this Wednesday (29), by judge Murilo Mendes, of the Single Courtroom of Sinop (MT). The accident, which left 154 dead, marks it fourth anniversary this Wednesday.

Lepore e Paladino and two air traffic controllers, Jomarcelo Fernandes dos Santos and Lucivando Tibúrcio de Alencar, are accused of an "attack on the safety of air transportation", aggravated by th death, according to the indictement by the Prosecutors' Office, accepted by the Court. Another two air traffic controllers, Leandro José Santos de Barros and Felipe Santos dos Reis, who were indicted, were summarily absolved at the beginning of the trial, according to the Federal Court of Mato Grosso.

The Legacy collided in midair with the Boeing, which was traveling from Manaus to Brasilia, and crashed in the Amazon forest, causing the deaths of passengers and crew.

G1 was told by lawyer Théo Dias, who defends the pilots, that seven defense witnesses were presented to the Court. Two of them were in the aircraft at the moment of the accident and the others are North Americans who work with the pilots. The court, at first, did not permit the request to call the witnesses made by the pilots' defense.

In a decision released this Wednesday, however, judge Murilo Mendes affirms that "when the defendant is a foreigner, it's more than natural that the witnesses that he calls also be foreigners. One can say, in sum, that when speaking of a Brazilian defendant, an overseas witness called by him configures, as a rule, something that is out of the ordinary. The defendant being a foreigner, the aspect of things changes completely. In the latter case, the request to hear people who reside in his own country is something which falls, also as a rule, in the field of complete normality", he said, in a note.

According to the Federal Court of Mato Grosso, the manner in which the witnesses will testify has still not been defined. The lawyers for the pilots' defense have 48 hours to define if they are disposed to bring together, in the same city, the witnesses indicated, so that the audience can be done via videoconference, as a demonstration that they intend to collaborate with the Brazilian courts.

The trial to judge the case is in the phase of production of evidence, the final stage of instruction. According to the Federal Court of Mato Grosso, a witness for the accusation was heard, in Mato Grosso, and precatory letters were issues to hear other prosecution witnesses, in other states. The audiences have still not taken place. The Legacy pilots have still not been heard by the Federal Court.

Still according to the court, the controllers were heard at the start of the trial, because this was the procedure at the time of the accident. With the change in procedure, the interrogation of the defendants should happen at the final stage of the trial, therefore, the Legacy pilots should still be heard by the Court, and there is the possibility of the air traffic controllers testifying again.

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