A court in Paris will bring Spanish airline Swiftair to trial in October for involuntary manslaughter related to the 2014 plane crash in Mali that killed 116 people. A source close to the case has confirmed that the trial will take place from October 2 to 26, information that has been backed by the Paris prosecutor’s office. However, on June 8, the French judiciary must decide whether the dismissal pronounced in Spain against the airline can affect the trial in France. The question centers on whether the legal principle of “ne bis in idem,” which stipulates that no one can be tried or punished twice for the same facts, can be applied in this case, according to European jurisprudence.
The accident occurred on July 24, 2014, in northern Mali, where a McDonnell Douglas MD-83 aircraft, leased by Air Algérie from Swiftair, crashed with 110 passengers on board, including 54 French nationals. The Spanish airline denies any responsibility for the accident. The investigating judges consider that the company did not provide adequate “training” to the crew and did not activate the anti-icing system, even though the weather conditions required it. On the other hand, Swiftair maintains that the tragedy was caused by external factors. In any case, the French judiciary will conduct the trial in October to determine the responsibilities of the Spanish airline in the accident and to rule whether there are charges that justify a verdict of involuntary manslaughter.
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