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Organizer of flight that cost Sala’s life convicted of compromising security

Organizer of flight that cost Sala’s life convicted of compromising security

The intermediary who organized the flight whose accident cost the life of Argentine footballer Emiliano Sala in 2019 was found guilty on Thursday of compromising the safety of the aircraft, a Welsh court indicated.

David Henderson, 67, was tried in Cardiff for recklessness or negligence likely to have endangered the apparatus in which the 28-year-old forward was traveling to join the Cardiff City club, to which he had been transferred from French Nantes.

After more than seven hours of deliberations, the popular jury found him guilty and his sentence will be announced on November 12. Henderson faces a five-year jail sentence.

He could also be sentenced to two years in prison for transporting a passenger without the relevant authorization, a charge of which Henderson himself was found guilty, for which the jury did not rule on the matter.

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The small private plane aboard the Argentine forward and the pilot David Ibbotson suffered an accident in the English Channel on January 21, 2019.

The body of the player, whose disappearance shocked the world of football, was recovered from inside the aircraft more than two weeks after the accident, at a depth of 67 meters.

The body of the 59-year-old pilot was not found.

According to the version of the prosecution during the process, the defendant had to pilot the aircraft at first, but when he was on vacation in Paris with his wife, he entrusted the transport to David Ibbotson. The latter did not have a commercial pilot license, his qualification for this type of aircraft had expired and he did not have the competence required to perform night flights.

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In their final report, published in March 2020, the British air accident investigators estimated that the pilot had lost control of the aircraft during a maneuver carried out at too high a speed, “probably” intended to avoid bad weather.

The mortal remains of Emiliano Sala were repatriated to Argentina in February 2019. (AFP)

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