'Decision on Gol accident will be issued in April', Federal judge says in hearing
Magistrate heard two flight controllers this Tuesday, in Brasília.
Testimony by Jan Paladino and Joseph Lepore is scheduled for Wednesday.
Jomarcelo dos Santos testified in hearing in Brasília
Federal judge Murilo Mendes heard, this Tuesday afternoon (March 29), the testimony of air traffic controllers Jomarcelo Fernandes dos Santos and Lucivaldo (sic,correct is Lucivando) Tibúrcio de Alencar, in the hearing that took place in the auditorium of the Regional Federal Tribunal (TRF). Mendes guaranteed that the trial on the accident between the Gol Boeing and the Legacy jet, on September 29, 2006, will be judge before it goes beyond the statute of limitations in June of this year. “This is the last act before the sentence and that will not go beyond the month of April."
Santos and Alencar worked in the flight control tower of Cindacta in Brasília, when the accident happened that took the lives of 154 people. In the trial, the two answer for the crimes of omission and negligence.
Still according to the judge, the defendants will have a time in which to respond on the case before the sentence. "Once the witnesses have all been heard, the court will open a period of three to five days for the sides to make their closing arguments before the sentence, which should take a total of 15 days", said Mendes.
The Federal judge will hear this Wednesday (March 31) the interrogation by videoconference of pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paul Paladino, scheduled for noon (Brasilia time).
During this Tuesday's hearing, which lasted about four hours, the magistrate mentioned a report by the Federal Police, informing that five of the six radio frequencies under the controllers' responsibility were turned off at the time of the accident. Confronted with this information, the two controllers denied the existence of the frequencies and contested the documents' conclusions. "Some of the frequencies may have been in the test phase and may not yet have been given to us", said controller Jomarcelo dos Santos.
The Military Courts condemned, in October of 2010, sergeant Jomarcelo Fernandes dos Santos to a year and two months of detention, for manslaughter (when there is no intent to kill). He was one of the flight controllers working in air traffic control on the day of the accident between the Legacy and the Boeing. The sentence is being appealed.
Another four controllers – João Batista da Silva, Felipe Santos Reis, Lucivando Tibúrcio de Alencar and Leandro José Santos de Barros – were absolved. They had been indicted by the Military Prosecutors' Office (MPM) for negligence and for having failed to observe military safety rules. Only Jomarcelo was indicted for manslaughter.
Sergeant Santos was accused of not informing of the turning off of the Legacy's anticollision signal and for not informing the officer who relieved him in air control of the change in the jet's altitude.
Demonstration by victims' relatives
The Association of Family and Friends of the Victims of Flight 1907 released a note informing that they will make peaceful protests, this Wednesday, during the North American pilots' testimony. The relatives will be on Long Island (New York), Porto Alegre, São Paulo and Manaus. They have asked for the maximum prison term and the immediate firings of Jan Paladinho and Joseph Lepore with the pulling of their pilots' licenses.