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Court extends house arrest of Moscow airport disaster flights chief

December 16, 2014, 13:28 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Overnight to October 21, Total's Falcon business jet flying from Moscow to Paris hit a snow plough during takeoff, caught fire and crashed on the runway
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Roman Dunayev

Roman Dunayev

© TASS/Mikhail Pochuev

MOSCOW, December 16. /TASS/. A Russian court on Tuesday extended house arrest on the head of flights at Moscow's Vnukovo airport, scene of the plane crash that killed the Total oil company's chief executive and the crew in October.

Moscow's Basmanny court ruled that Roman Dunayev should be held until April 22. Judge Natalia Mushnikova granted the motion due to lack of evidence compelling otherwise and agreeing with the prosecution that the defendant could disappear, destroy evidence, threaten witnesses and cohort with co-workers, hampering investigations.

The court ruling bans Dunayev from leaving or changing his place of residence, receiving or sending correspondence and using any communication systems, including the telephone or Internet except for making emergency calls and talking to prosecutors and lawyers.

Investigators said there were plans to question several witnesses and “carry out a number of complex technical examinations” during the period.

Overnight to October 21, Total's Falcon business jet flying from Moscow to Paris hit a snow plough during takeoff, caught fire and crashed on the runway killing the crew-of-three and company chief executive Christophe de Margerie.

Russian authorities have opened a criminal case on charges of abuse of air traffic and aircraft operation safety rules.

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