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Charges pressed against snowplow operator behind fatal jet crash Moscow airport

October 31, 2014, 18:27 UTC+3
Martynenko was charged with violation of safety regulations leading to death of two or more people, his lawyaer later said that he refused to testify
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Vladimir Martynenko

Vladimir Martynenko

© EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

MOSCOW, October 31. /TASS/. Official charges have been pressed against Vladimir Martynenko, the operator of a snowplow that caused a tragic crash of a private jet in the Moscow’s capital last week, Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee, said on Friday.

Total CEO Christophe de Margerie, as well as three crew members, died in the crash.

Markin said that the prosecution charged Martynenko with violation of safety regulations, which eventually led to death of two or more people.

Same charges had earlier been brought against the chief engineer of Vnukovo airport, service flight controller and trainee flight controller.

Following the incident snowplow operator Vladimir Martynenko was detained for the period of 48 hours, which expire on Thursday, but the court ruled to extend his custody term on the same day.

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

His lawyer Alexander Karabanov later on Friday said that Martynenko refused to give evidence. “My defendant will not be testifying until a medical inspection,” Karabanov said. “He suffers from pains in his ribcage and back following this incident.” 

Karabanov also said that after an official from the Public Chamber paid a visit to Martynenko his defendant “was transferred to a chamber, which has more conveniences comparing with other people in custody.”

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