Brazil air controller sentenced in 2006 Amazon crash case

May 20, 2011 03:29


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SAO PAULO - A Brazilian federal court on Thursday convicted one air traffic controller and acquitted another for their role in the crash of a domestic airliner over the Amazon rain forest that killed 154 people in 2006.

Judge Murilo Mendes of the state of Mato Grosso convicted air traffic controller Lucivando Tiburcio de Alencar to a term of up to three years and four months but ruled he is eligible to do community service in Brazil instead. He will not be allowed to work as an air controller through the period of his conviction, the court said in a statement.

Air controller Jomarcelo Fernandes dos Santos was acquitted on charges of harming Brazil's air transport and security.

The conviction is related to Alencar's role in the September 2006 crash of a small business jet, which clipped wings with a Boeing 737 operated by Brazilian airline Gol, causing the airliner to plunge into the jungle in one of Brazil's worst air disasters.

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