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Taking justice into your own hands

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Grieving father held for killing
Swiss police say a man they arrested over the killing of a Swiss air traffic controller lost three members of his family in a mid-air collision.
They say the suspect's wife, son and daughter died in the accident over southern Germany two years ago.

Seventy-one people - mostly Russian children - died when a Russian charter plane collided with a cargo jet.

The man, believed to be Russian, denies stabbing the controller to death at his home near Zurich on Tuesday.

The suspect's fingerprints will be compared with those found on the suspected murder weapon, police said.

The controller - a 36-year-old Danish national - was in charge of air traffic over Lake Constance at the time of the crash in July 2002.

He was attacked and died on his doorstep, in front of his wife.


Hundreds of Swiss police were involved in the hunt for a man they described as burly, in his early 50s who spoke "broken German".

Train stations, roads and airports were watched.
Colleagues of the controller - at the Swiss air traffic agency Skyguide - were in shock at the killing and protection was stepped up for other members of staff.

Skyguide was criticised for its role in the tragedy after investigators revealed that only the one controller was on duty when the collision happened.

He told the pilot of the Russian plane to descend when its onboard collision warning equipment was telling it to climb.

German investigators have said the tragedy was the result of a complex combination of human factors and technical shortcomings.

Last year Germany, Switzerland and Skyguide agreed to set up a fund to compensate relatives of the victims.

They included 52 Russian schoolchildren, most of them sons and daughters of the wealthy elite of the Russian republic of Bashkortostan in the southern Urals region.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2004/02/26 17:05:02 GMT


I can understand the alleged perpetrator's grief, but the air traffic controller, a family man, surely wasn't solely to blame. He and his family had a very difficult time following the crash, and now this.
post #2 of 6
That is so sad.
post #3 of 6
I don't know if I could entirely blame him for what he did (if he is guilty) but his revenge has caused more pain to other innocents (the family of the victim) and he probably won't get the compensation from the airline/countries. He may even end up in prison.
post #4 of 6
There are so many people I know that would probably take justice into their own hands in a situation where a close family member or friend was killed maliciously and violently and I was thinking about whether or not the court system would hold some sort of understanding for something like that.. But there was no malice involved in this case, it was just a horrible tragic accident and I doubt very much that a day did not go by when the air traffic controller did not think about and regret what had happened. The man was obviously distraught and perhaps suffering from a mental illness brought on by the loss of everyone he loved. It's so difficult for me to even have an opinion on this, but I must say it's just a huge tragedy to everyone involved.
post #5 of 6
It was an accident, but i can try to understand how this chap must have been feeling with his loss, but now the pilots family are going through the same.

Very sad.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Here's an update: http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/europe...ing/index.html
The thing is, even though the air traffic controller made a mistake, his employer was probably more culpable, as the computer and phone system was partially "down" for maintenance, and there were only two controllers on duty when the accident happened. The second controller was taking a break. It has been a tragedy all the way round.
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