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Russian court puts trainee traffic controller under house arrest in Falcon crash case

October 24, 2014, 17:03 UTC+3
Overnight to October 21, a Falcon business jet en route from Moscow’s Vnukovo airport to Paris hit a snowplough during takeoff, caught fire and crashed on the runway
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Svetlana Krivsun

Svetlana Krivsun

© Ilya Pitalev/TASS

MOSCOW, October 24. /TASS/. A Moscow court on Friday placed a trainee air traffic controller under house arrest on the suspicion of her involvement into the fatal crash of the French oil giant CEO’s plane earlier this week, a TASS correspondent reported from the courtroom.

Judge Valentina Levashova said the court found a request by investigators “reasonable and lawful,” agreeing that the accused trainee of the air controllers’ department, Svetlana Krivsun, could disappear, destroy evidence, threaten witnesses, and cohort with co-workers, which would hamper investigations. The judge denied a request by lawyers for the accused to be released on bail or after signing a pledge not to leave the country.

Under the ruling of the Basmanny court of Moscow, Svetlana Krivsun is not allowed to leave or change her place of residence, receive or send correspondence and use any communication systems, including the phone or the Internet, except for making emergency calls and talking to investigators.

Overnight to October 21, a Falcon business jet en route from Moscow’s Vnukovo airport to Paris hit a snowplough during takeoff, caught fire and crashed on the runway, killing three crew and one passenger — CEO of the French oil major Total Christophe de Margerie. The Russian authorities have opened a criminal case on charges of abuse of air traffic and aircraft operation safety rules that caused the negligent death of two or more persons.

The four suspects in the case are chief engineer of the airport’s service Vladimir Ledenev, who was in charge of snow-clearing works at the time of the incident, flights director Roman Dunayev, intern air traffic controller Svetlana Krivsun and airport’s chief air traffic controller Alexander Kruglov, who was in charge of the air traffic at the time of the tragic crash.

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