Courts order American journalist on Legacy to retract
The American journalist Joe Sharkey, who was the Legacy that collided with a Gol Boeing on September 29, 2006 - an accident that resulted in the deaths of the 154 occupants of the airliner - was sentenced to recant publicly about the offensive articles he wrote on his blog. In addition, he must pay $ 50,000 in compensation to the wife of a victim.
The case was tried on Thursday afternoon in the 9th Civil Chamber of the Court of Parana. Although the Judge José Aniceto Augusto Gomes asked for time to examine the case, there were two votes in favor of condemnation, the opinion author and appellate judge Sérgio Luiz Patitucci and appellate judge Rosana Girardi Fachin.
"Although the trial was suspended, we have the hajority of the votes. Now we can only know if it was unanimous or by majority," said lawyer Dante D'Aquino, who represents Rosane Gutjahr, who lost her husband in the accident and filed the lawsuit after Sharkey's criticism on matters relating to the case. According to Rosane, the journalist offended Brazilians and wrote untrue material in The New York Times.
The decision by the 9th Civil Chamber of the Court reversed the decision ofthe trial court which did not recognize the legitimacy of the Rosane's request for the action of public apology and damages. From the beginning, Joe Sharkey offered no defense. At the trial today, he did not attend or send any representative. "He was properly cited, is aware of the action and there are documents that prove this. He chose not to attend," said D'Aquino, who also represents the Association of Relatives and Friends of Victims of Flight 1907, of which Rosane is a director.
The journalist may appeal the Supreme Court (STF) within 15 days after publication of the decision of the Parana Tribunal of Justice. There are questions about the sentence because Sharkey lives in the United States. D'Aquino said that the means of execution of the sentence is by means of letters rogatory, used in bilateral agreements. In this case, the U.S. judiciary would be triggered and informed about the reversal of the sentence. Thereafter, the penalty would have to be fulfilled in that country. "We can not say categorically that he will comply," said the lawyer.
In addition to this condemnation, Sharkey was held criminally liable for offenses against the Federal Police, the federal government and the Justice Department.
Rosane celebrated the result on Thursday and said the $ 50,000 of compensation will be donated to the Association of Friends of the Hospital de Clinicas. The association works closely with the Hospital de Clinicas, linked to the Federal University of Parana. "I don't say it was a victory. My husband is dead and not coming back. But it is a positive point in all this. The same goes for the condemnation of the Legacy pilots in the criminal area. It is an ending. The only thing that remains, and that can not be sold, is the honor, dignity, "she affirmed after the session at the Tribunal of Justice. She took the opportunity to call on the Foreign Ministry to make the sentence to be enforced effectively, interceding with the United States.
Gol Flight 1907, which was en route Manaus-Rio de Janeiro, with a stop in Brasilia, crashed in northern Mato Grosso, on September 29, 2006, killing all 148 passengers and six crew members. The accident occurred after a collision with a Legacy executive jet manufactured by Embraer, which landed safely at an airbase in southern
The pilots of the Legacy, Americans Joseph Lepore and Jan Paul Paladino, are accused of not having turned on Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) equipment responsible for contact between the aircraft and the transmission towers. The indictment by the Federal Prosecutors' Office, presented in May 2007, reports that the aircraft's transponder Gol remained on throughout the flight, but the Legacy's, from a certain point, was off. The transponder is a device that interacts with the secondary air control radars and other transponders, providing information about the position and movement of aircraft.
The sequence of errors that caused the accident also went through a miscommunication between controllers and pilots of the Brazilian jet, which, not understanding the instructions, had put the aircraft at the same altitude as the flight Gol, 37,000 feet. In May 2007, pilots and four flight controllers were accused by federal prosecutors for the crime of attack on the security of the national air transportation. The Americans were acquitted of negligence in December 2008, but in 2010 the court overturned the acquittal and ordered the resumption of the trial.
In May 2011, they were sentenced by Justice of Mato Grosso to four years and four months in a halfway house for exposing to danger an aircraft, their own or another's, the act having resulted in death. The penalty, however, was converted to community service and prohibition from practicing their profession and would be enforced in the United States, where the pilots reside.
In 2008, flight controllers Leandro José Santos de Barros and Felipe Santos dos Reis were summarily acquitted of all charges by the Federal Court. Jomarcelo Fernandes dos Santos was also acquitted of the crime in May 2011. In the same decision, the court of Mato Grosso Lucivando Tiburcio de Alencar sentenced to community service for an attack on air transport safety.
In Military Justice, the military prosecution to determine the responsibility of five controllers who worked on the day of the accident - the four indicted by the MPF and João Batista da Silva - was begun in June 2008. In October 2010, four were acquitted - only Jomarcelo Fernandes dos Santos was convicted of manslaughter, but received the right to appeal in liberty. He appealed to the Superior Military Court (STM) and awaits trial.