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MOSCOW, October 27. /TASS/. Defense lawyers have challenged a court decision to remand in custody the snowplough operator involved in the plane crash which killed Total oil company's CEO and the crew at Moscow's Vnukovo airport on October 21.
“We have filed an appeal in court asking for house arrest as an alternative measure to prevent (Vladimir) Martynenko’s attempts to flee or destroy evidence,” lawyer Alexander Sergeyev said on Monday.
After the crash, prosecutors detained 60-year-old Martynenko, Vladimir Ledenev, the leading airfield service engineer overseeing snow-clearing work on the night of the crash and despatcher Alexander Kruglov.
The three suspcts will remain in custody until December 21. Head of flight control Roman Dunayev and trainee despatcher Svetlana Krivsun are under house arrest, and airport chief executive Andrey Dyakov and deputy Sergey Solntsev have resigned since the disaster.
The Russian authorities have opened a criminal case on charges of abuse of air traffic and aircraft operation safety rules.
Overnight to October 21, Total's Falcon business jet flying from Moscow to Paris hit a snowplough during takeoff, caught fire and crashed on the runway, killing the crew-of-three and company chief executive Christophe de Margerie.