No convictions sought against Air France, Airbus over Rio-Paris crash

© Cynthia Walsh/AP

French prosecutors in the case against Air France and Airbus over the 2009 crash of a Rio-Paris flight that killed all 228 people on board said they were unable to prove the companies were guilty of involuntary manslaughter, which infuriated victims’ families.

After eight weeks in a Paris court, prosecutors on Wednesday said they could not recommend a guilty verdict for the two companies, which have been charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Their guilt "appears to us to be impossible to prove," prosecutor Pierre Arnaudin told the court, adding, "we know that this view will most likely be difficult to hear for the civil plaintiffs, but we are not in a position to ask for the conviction of Air France and Airbus.”

The trial opened in October to determine the responsibility of the two companies for the crash of flight AF447 on 1 June 2009, which remains the worst aviation disaster in Air France's history

The case has focused on a technical malfunction on the Airbus A330, which victims’ families have said the companies were aware of. But the companies said the main cause of the crash was pilot error.

Both Air France and Airbus have denied the involuntary manslaughter charges that carry a fine of up to 225,000 euros.

(with AFP)

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