Flight crew member on plane that killed soccer star found guilty

Written by By Katarina Gustafsson, CNN Mexican authorities have convicted a former member of the Aerolineas Argentinas flight crew of involuntary manslaughter over the plane crash that killed footballer Emiliano Sala. The judge also…

Flight crew member on plane that killed soccer star found guilty

Written by By Katarina Gustafsson, CNN

Mexican authorities have convicted a former member of the Aerolineas Argentinas flight crew of involuntary manslaughter over the plane crash that killed footballer Emiliano Sala.

The judge also sentenced pilot David Ibbotson to nearly 10 years in prison, local media reported.

The judge issued the verdict on the same day that Sala’s body was found off the Welsh coast near the village of Reeth.

A Nantes football club official confirmed to BBC that Sala’s body had been retrieved from the water, although the player has yet to be formally identified.

The pilot of the aircraft, David Ibbotson, was also found dead in the wreckage.

After a lifetime as a professional footballer in his native Argentina, Sala was on the trail to join the Premier League club when he was killed on January 21.

The ill-fated plane departed from the French city of Nantes and headed for Cardiff to meet with Sala. But it disappeared during the flight near the English city of Guernsey and Sala was never seen again.

The judge will rule in the next few days on whether he will allow Ibbotson to appeal against the verdict.

The prosecutors said Ibbotson and the pilot, David Ibbotson, failed to apply emergency oxygen masks due to pressure issues and did not respond to radio calls.

Aerolineas Argentinas released a statement on January 26 after French police recovered the two bodies from the ocean, saying it would be open to an inquiry into the crash.

“We are also facing the sad and distressing news that the body of Emiliano Sala has been found. The Marseille Prosecutor is currently working with the relatives of the player to ascertain the identity of the remains.”

The football club will donate its World Cup quarterfinal ticket sales to the Emiliano Sala Fund, a fundraising effort aiming to benefit young players for soccer development, a statement said.

The team is expected to add a tribute to the player on the field before the second leg of the 2018 Europa League quarterfinal on Thursday.

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