Suspect in Skyguide air traffic controller murder partially confesses

Vitali Kaloyev, the suspect in the murder a Skyguide air traffic controller, has partially pleaded guilty, District Prosecutor Pascal Gossner told journalists on Tuesday.

Mr. Kaloyev has recently asked Mr. Gossner for a conversation with the prosecutor in the presence of his lawyer. Mr. Kaloyev said that on February 24 he went to the dispatcher's house in Kloten because he wanted the dispatcher to apologize for the disaster above Lake Boden. Then Mr. Kaloyev lost control and could not remember what happened afterward, Mr. Gossner said.

Mr. Kaloyev also said that he had met with the dispatcher and talked to him before.

Investigators said that Mr. Kaloyev's testimony was going to be thoroughly to examined.

The Skyguide dispatcher, who was on duty on the night of the crash of the Russian Tu-154 airplane above Lake Boden, was stabbed to death in his house in Kloten on February 24.

Mr. Kaloyev lost his entire family - wife, daughter and son - in the disaster. He was arrested the day after the killing in a Kloten hotel.

In July 2002, the Bashkir Airlines Tu-154 and a Boeing-747 collided in the air above Germany. Sixty-nine passengers of the Tu-154, mostly children, and the two pilots of the Boeing-747 died in the crash.

According to one version, the fault for the tragedy lies with the killed air traffic controller in whose zone of responsibility the catastrophe took place.

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