Brazilian court overturns acquittal of U.S. pilots in 2006 air disaster 2010-01-13 09:53:09   Print

    BRASILIA, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) -- The Brazilian federal court on Tuesday overturned the acquittal of two U.S. pilots of a business jet which was involved in one of Brazil's worst air disasters.

    Judge Candido Ribeiro said the negligence charge against U.S. pilots Jan Paladino and Joseph Lepore was sustained.

    Tuesday's court ruling repealed a federal judge's decision in December 2008 in which the two pilots were acquitted of negligence but were charged with malpractice.

    With the annulment, the trial returns to the first instance, but the pilots can appeal against the ruling.

    The two pilots were blamed for the crash of a Brazilian passenger jet that killed 154 people on Sept. 29, 2006.

    The two men piloted the Legacy 600 executive jet that collided with a Boeing 737-800 flying in the opposite direction over Mato Grosso state in Brazil's mid-west.

    The Boeing, operated by Brazilian airline Gol, crashed into the Amazonian jungle killing all aboard. The Legacy jet, operated by company ExcelAir, suffered minor damage and the pilots were able to land on a nearby runway.

Editor: Anne Tang
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