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Court arrests suspect in Moscow jet crash

October 23, 2014, 12:32 UTC+3
The court ruled in favor of the prosecution based on the results of preliminary visual exam that was conducted right after the fatal jet crash
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Vladimir Martynenko

Vladimir Martynenko

© Artiom Korotaev/TASS

MOSCOW, October 23. /TASS/. Basmanny district court of Moscow has arrested until December 21 Vladimir Martynenko, a snowplow operator who allegedly caused the crash of the French Falcon jet at Moscow's Vnukovo airport, TASS reported on Thursday.

The court ruled in favor of the prosecution after preliminary medical examination results were announced that Martynenko was drunk at the moment of the air crash that killed four people, all French nationals, including France’s oil giant Total CEO Christophe de Margerie.

Lawyer disagrees

According to the suspect’s lawyer, the conclusions are absurd as they were made based on a visual exam of Martynenko right after the accident, with no tests taken to confirm the preliminary results.

“These conclusions were made based on a visual check of Martynenko by the doctor after the crash, but why should we trust this, we can only trust test results, which there are none of,” the lawyer said.

According to media reports, Martynenko, who emerged unhurt from the incident, was under alcoholic influence, while he acknowledged that he had a cup of coffee with cognac in it before his shift.

Top airport officials resign after fatal crash

Director General of Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport, Andrey Dyakov, and his deputy Sergey Solntsev have resigned following the fatal jet crash.

The airport’s shift director, the head of maintenance division of the aerodrome and the leading engineer who heads the shift have also been suspended from duties.

A spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee said on Thursday that four staff members of the Vnukovo airport have been detained on suspicion of their duties’ negligence in regard to crash.

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