Bulgarian Pilot Awaits Greek Appeal Court Rule on Jail Term

Crime | December 14, 2012, Friday // 09:13|  views

One of the leading Bulgarian pilots, Yanko Stoimenov, was sentenced to 123 years of jail time by a Greek Court. Photo by 24 Chassa

Bulgarian pilot, Yanko Stoimenov, who was sentenced to 123 years of jail time by a Greek Court, is expecting to hear on December 19 the decision of the appellate magistrates.

The news was reported Friday by the Bulgarian 24 Chassa (24 Hours) daily.

In April 2012, a Greek court declared four former employees of low-cost Cypriot airline Helios Airways, including Bulgarian Stoimenov, guilty for an air crash that killed all 121 people on board.

On August 14, 2005, a Boeing 737-300 flying on a flight from Larnaka to Prague via Athens crashed north of the Greek capital, killing all of the passengers and the members of the crew.

The crash was the worst accident on record for Greece and Cyprus.

The Court of first instance in Athens declared Helios' managing director Demetris Pantazis, flight operations manager Giorgos Kikkides, chief pilot Yanko Stoimenov and chief engineer Alan Irwin guilty of negligent manslaughter.

In December 2011, a Cypriot court ruled that the State prosecutors had not proved their case for manslaughter and acquitted all defendants.

The magistrates in Nicosia did not accept the claims that the crew had been incompetent and that the company had failed to ensure the safety and security of the passengers.

At that point, the relatives of the victims who had gathered in front of court accepted the court's pronouncement chanting "Shame!"

The Greek prosecutor then lodged an appeal, which triggered protests from the families of the defendants.

According to one of the lawyers of a defendant on the case, the decision of the Athens court presents a serious problem because it is nonstandard for the same people to be tried twice on the same charges.

The Bulgarian national will plead not-guilty on December 18.

If the Court of Appeals confirms the prison term, Stoimenov, who is one of the leading Bulgarian pilots, will have to be jailed in awaiting the rule of the Supreme Court.

The press center of the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry informs they have been offering full assistance since the very start of the process and will continue to do so in providing opinions and explanations of international legal documents.

The Foreign Ministry further reports they are in constant touch with Stoimenov and his defense council.

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Tags: Foreign Ministry, Nicosia, Appellate, appeals, rule, verdict, Cyprus, Yanko Stoimenov, air carrier, pilot, greece


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