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HV Pilot Arrested For Argentina "Death Flights"  
User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2871 posts, RR: 3
Posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 15229 times:

A Transavia pilot that was about to start a flight Valencia-Amsterdam, his last flight before retirement, has been arrested by the Spanish police (at the request of the Argentinian authorities) on the suspicion of carrying out so called "Death flights" for the Argentinian regime that ruled between 1976 and 1983, which implies throwing political prisoners out of planes over sea.

The pilot has Dutch and Argentinian nationality and had already been working at Transavia for a long time, according to a Transavia spokeswoman. Transavia is investigating under which circumstances the pilot had been hired.

Link, in Dutch only:
http://www.volkskrant.nl/binnenland/...ransavia_opgepakt_om_dodenvluchten


I scratch my head, therefore I am.
57 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2871 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 14977 times:

Further info:

The pilot, Julio Puch, was in fact open about his past and had told colleagues that he had taken part in the Death flights. HV management allegedly was in the know, too.

As his was his last flight, his son (also a pilot at HV) and his wife were on board. It is not sure whether they stayed on board or not.



I scratch my head, therefore I am.
User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2871 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 14764 times:

Another article in Dutch here

He started working at HV in 1988 and has been accused of crimes in four separate Argentinian trials; he was a navy pilot in junta times.



I scratch my head, therefore I am.
User currently offlineAirCatalonia From Spain, joined Nov 2007, 549 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 14524 times:

I don't know why they had to wait for his last flight to arrest him. I don't think they learned about his past precisely today.

The whole story doesn't sound too transparent to me, but then we are dealing with the spanish law system...


User currently offlineBobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6446 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 14451 times:



Quoting AirCatalonia (Reply 5):
The whole story doesn't sound too transparent to me, but then we are dealing with the spanish law system...

Neither the Netherlands or Argentina are Spanish or come under spanish law.


User currently offlineAirCatalonia From Spain, joined Nov 2007, 549 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 14326 times:

Apparently he has been arrested because he told his fellow HV pilots about his actions. According to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, his fellow pilots said he took pride in his actions, acknowledged to have carried them out voluntarily, and defended the Argentinian dictatorship.

'Eran terroristas de izquierdas y no sufrían porque estaban drogados' - Elmundo.es

Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 6):
Neither the Netherlands or Argentina are Spanish or come under spanish law.

He has been arrested in Spain and he is in a Spanish prison right now. Plus, potentially, he could be judged in Spain too, Spain has universal jurisdiction.

[Edited 2009-09-23 09:28:53]

User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3964 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 14310 times:

Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 6):

Neither the Netherlands or Argentina are Spanish or come under spanish law

The Spanish have a different view on this, as quite a few felons have learned to their surprise.

If I understand the articles correctly, Dutch and Argentinian courts are investigating the case as well, so it might end up as a simple extradition case.

[Edited 2009-09-23 09:33:47]

User currently offlineBrouAviation From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 985 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 14128 times:



Quoting AirCatalonia (Reply 7):
According to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, his fellow pilots said he took pride in his actions, acknowledged to have carried them out voluntarily, and defended the Argentinian dictatorship.

You take that as a reliable source?



Never ask somebody if he's a pilot. If he is, he will let you know soon enough!
User currently offlineNormie999 From United Kingdom, joined May 2009, 143 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 14040 times:

To Canberra at 4.

Who's to know what was going through his mind at the time, but the fact is that the Junta has been gone for over 25 years, giving him plenty of time to make his peace with Argentine civil society, but he hasn't.


User currently offlineAirCatalonia From Spain, joined Nov 2007, 549 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 13615 times:

Quoting BrouAviation (Reply 9):
You take that as a reliable source?

Actually not, that's why I said "according to El Mundo". I only quoted El Mundo because they had the article with the most information. Unfortunately, El Mundo is not a very reliable newspaper.

[Edited 2009-09-23 10:47:51]

User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26376 posts, RR: 76
Reply 10, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 13557 times:



Quoting Canberra (Reply 4):
Quoting Normie999 (Reply 2):
It's never too late to catch these bastards in my opinion.

A very easy comment to make. Not trying to justify his actions, but what do you do if given the choice of carrying out these flights or get shot for disobeying an order? Save your skin or die for the noble course of justice (pretty much loose/loose. I know what I would like to do, but not so sure if actually in the situation)

I agree with this. If he was a pilot in the Argentine Navy, I really doubt that he had a choice in the matter. I am sure if he had protested, he would be the one thrown out the airplane.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7459 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 13234 times:

N1120A

Unfortuneately "only obeying orders" when out of fashion after 1945.


User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 10984 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 12):
I agree with this. If he was a pilot in the Argentine Navy, I really doubt that he had a choice in the matter. I am sure if he had protested, he would be the one thrown out the airplane.

He apparently was and is a strong believer in the militairy Junta and was proud of the flights he made. He most probably was far from a victim.



http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009...ath-flights-pilot-arrest-argentina

[Edited 2009-09-23 15:37:54]

[Edited 2009-09-23 15:39:05]

User currently offlineVarig767 From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 243 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 10964 times:



Quoting AirCatalonia (Reply 11):
Actually not, that's why I said "according to El Mundo". I only quoted El Mundo because they had the article with the most information. Unfortunately, El Mundo is not a very reliable newspaper.

Actually, Dutch newspaper NRC is also stating his fellow pilots said he took pride of his actions and defended the dictatorship (see articel in Dutch in reply 3). In contrary, NRC is known as a very reliable newspaper here in The Netherlands.

regards, Martijn


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 13968 posts, RR: 63
Reply 14, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 10261 times:



Quoting Bobnwa (Reply 6):
Quoting AirCatalonia (Reply 5):
The whole story doesn't sound too transparent to me, but then we are dealing with the spanish law system...

Neither the Netherlands or Argentina are Spanish or come under spanish law.

From what I understand the Spanish authorities got involved due to some victims having had dual Argentinian-Spanish citizenship.

Jan


User currently offlineLTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13039 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 10084 times:

Murder has no statue of limitations in most countries. Perhaps they reason for arresting him now was that he had admitted it perhaps to someone who ratted him to the Spanish Government authorities for their own gain or perhaps out of a concern for human rights. One has to wonder if he will get a fair trial from the Spanish courts.

User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 3941 posts, RR: 28
Reply 16, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 9783 times:



Quoting AirCatalonia (Reply 7):
Spain has universal jurisdiction.

Meaning "Baltazar Garçon, grand judge-jury-executioner, will do whatever the hell he feels like doing, and to heck with the consequences".



Read this very carefully, I shall write this only once!
User currently offlineAcheron From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1595 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 9387 times:

The guy boasted about it in his own Facebook account. He even had a few accounts of the lovely flights he did.

User currently offlineNorcica From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 12 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 9280 times:



Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 13):

?? Obeying orders may be used as a defense in cases involving breach of international law...


User currently offlineJAGflyer From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 3496 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 9246 times:

I feel like I already read this somewhere. Was there not a similar case with another airline pilot recently?


Support the beer and soda can industry, recycle old airplanes!
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 8575 times:



Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 17):
Murder has no statue of limitations in most countries. Perhaps they reason for arresting him now was that he had admitted it perhaps to someone who ratted him to the Spanish Government authorities for their own gain or perhaps out of a concern for human rights. One has to wonder if he will get a fair trial from the Spanish courts.



Quoting N1120A (Reply 12):
I agree with this. If he was a pilot in the Argentine Navy, I really doubt that he had a choice in the matter. I am sure if he had protested, he would be the one thrown out the airplane.

What a shocking ignorance. Are you serious ?

Juan Alberto Poch was employed by ESMA, a technical school of the navy. It was one of the largest torture center. large numbers of man and women were systematically tortured & disposed off.

The Naval Mechanics School (ESMA), located in Buenos Aires, is one of nearly 400 concentration camps/torture centers that operated in Argentina during the dictatorship. It is estimated that over 5,000 people were interrogated and tortured at ESMA and only 150 survived. ESMA had specially equipped detention and torture rooms as well as "birthing" rooms. Many of the children brought to ESMA and other concentration camps with their parents, or babies born at these facilities, were either tortured and ultimately killed in an attempt to extract information from their mother, or were seized and given to military families. In recent years, efforts initiated by the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo have been successful in confirming the "true" identity (using DNA testing) of about 85 of roughly 400 children who were "disappeared."

The officers slept, played soccer and were having lunch while they could clearly hear the screeming from the torure rooms.


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26376 posts, RR: 76
Reply 21, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 22 hours ago) and read 8242 times:



Quoting Keesje (Reply 14):
He apparently was and is a strong believer in the militairy Junta and was proud of the flights he made. He most probably was far from a victim.

In that case, I hope they throw the book at him.

Quoting Keesje (Reply 22):
What a shocking ignorance. Are you serious ?

Easy now. Like I said, I am sure he didn't have a choice, even if he had opposed the actions completely.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineAcelanzarote From Spain, joined Nov 2005, 821 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 8077 times:

IF Transavia 'really' knew about all this, did they not think it might one
day come back to haunt them?

What are they saying at the minute?



from the Island with sun and great photo's.. Why not visit Lanzarote
User currently offlineBuyantUkhaa From Mongolia, joined May 2004, 2871 posts, RR: 3
Reply 23, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 7933 times:



Quoting Acelanzarote (Reply 24):
What are they saying at the minute?

More info is appearing:

NRC Handelsblad writes that investigative judge Sergio Torres travelled from Argentina to the Netherlands in December last year because of the investigative case against Poch. Dutch authorities were closely involved in the case. One of the agreements made was that the Dutch authorities would not request his extradition to the Netherlands [which probably explains why he was arrested in Spain, so that the Dutch would not have to extradite their own citizen, I think]. An international arrest warrant was issued in March.

Poch's colleagues at Transavia stated that he was never secretive about his past and even defended the killing of civilians as "necessary in the fight against left-wing terrorists". As a navy pilot, Poch was working at the Escuela de Suboficiales de Mecánica de la Armada (ESMA) in Buenos Aires.

The Dutch investigation team for international crimes entered Poch's house yesterday and took several documents. A spokesperson of the Dutch foreign ministry says that Poch has not requested consular assistence, but that the ministry is monitoring the situation closely.

A spokesperson of Transavia stated that the company is analysing under what circumstances the pilot was hired, but underlined that in 2004 the pilot had been screened by intelligence services (as is a regular occurence for everyone working at AMS) and had been given the all clear.

The passengers in Valencia had to wait until a replacement crew had been flown in (the rest of the original crew had exceeded their hours already by then).

De Volkskrant says that Dutch investigators were already keeping an eye on him, and that most of his colleagues were aware of his past. Poch ranked 23 (out of 512) on the seniority list of HV and colleagues think it very unlikely that the management would not know. Dutch police received information and started an investigation. This Dutch investigation was one of the triggers for the Argentine arrest warrant.

De Telegraaf (a sensationalist tabloid, so take this with a grain of salt) reports that when HV operated a charter service between Bali and Australia some years ago, Poch spent six weeks on the island with colleagues and boasted about his past at the Fuerza Aeronaval. He then had a conflict with another HV who strongly condemned Poch's actions. The fellow pilot then decided to return home - or may have been instructed to do so by the management.

By the way, the guy is on Facebook



I scratch my head, therefore I am.
User currently offlineTravelExec From Spain, joined Dec 2007, 449 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 20 hours ago) and read 7895 times:



Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 13):

Unfortuneately "only obeying orders" when out of fashion after 1945.

Apparently not in the United States by the way...

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 17):
One has to wonder if he will get a fair trial from the Spanish courts.

Rest assured. You do not need to wonder that.

Why would you say this? There is no suggestion that the Spanish judicial system is anything but fair. This would appear to be a slur on the Spanish system which is completely unwarranted. Why do Americans assume that all other countries are inferior in their procedures and processes?

Spain is a signatory to all the international treaties on Human Rights, Geneva Conventions etc (unlike the US) and for example, does not do trial by Military Commission or apply newly created statuses like "enemy combatants" which are not recognised by international law in order to detain people offshore and away from its constitutionaly appointed judicial system...


25 Acelanzarote : but when... Be interesting to see how this plays out, a one way trip to Buenos Aires perhaps... Not sure what you are suggesting here?
26 BuyantUkhaa : Most likely... since there's an abundance of witnesses of him telling about his past without the slightest remorse, this should be an easy case. Extr
27 HansHubers : Dutch newspaper 'Trouw' reports that another pilot who admitted his participation in the 'death flights' several years ago, got 640 years of prison...
28 BrouAviation : I just have spoken with a HV captain, flying 15 years for the airline now, and knowing the man very well. he says this man was a very nice person, and
29 Post contains links BuyantUkhaa : Seems that the Bali dinner was what did him in: Article (in Dutch) While having dinner at the Gado Gado restaurant at Bali, Poch and his colleagues w
30 DocLightning : No, all servicemembers are expected to disobey illegal orders. Now, "I had a gun to my head and if I didn't obey orders..." is probably a valid excus
31 KL577 : Maybe you should tell that to the families of those who disappeared over the Atlantic in the 1970s. That indeed been established clearly in the Nurem
32 BrouAviation : Yes, and then? What are you actually trying to say? In any way, those people might have some right to be involved in this case, the behaviour of the
33 Slz396 : The fact others are unfortunately kept out of shot may not be an excuse for not acting on those that can now be held to justice. But I agree with you
34 TravelExec : ...stitched up.
35 Post contains links KL577 : Which media? What is shameful? The papers I have read today (NRC Handelsblad, de Volkskrant) seem to be doing a fair job in retrieving some facts. An
36 BrouAviation : if I'm not mistaken, the father of princess Maxima, minister in the Videla regime, is living in Argentina and having no troubles at all. It stinks. D
37 PA110 : So, are you saying he shouldn't be brought to justice for his crimes simply because action was not brought against him earlier? Do you believe in a s
38 MSYPI7185 : Why such hatred of the US? The Geneva Convention does not address terrorist captured on a battlefield. But I agree with you we should have done what
39 TravelExec : No hatred of the US. What you have quoted from me is a response to an American poster who made a completely unwarranted swipe at the spanish judicial
40 Aviateur : Yeah sure, just following orders. The Paraguayan government, too, was (for a time) fond of disposing of inconvenient people by pushing them from plan
41 LTBEWR : My point is not against the Judicaial agencies of Spain, their Judges or their Criminal procedures. Indeed in some ways they may be more humane than
42 DeltaMD90 : What most people fail to realize is this guy grew up in a country and time where death and killing is prevalent. I'm sure most of us who were fortunat
43 IgneousRocks : This belongs in non-aviation. And yet you turned around and took an opinionated swipe at the U.S., not once, but twice. I guess we are to assume that
44 TravelExec : Nope - i pointed out that the US chooses not to follow the international standard, which is what most everybody else uses to measure themselves again
45 BrouAviation : Yes, I do. Action was brought against him earlier, obviously. Next to that, he has been told for over 15 years he would have no actions taken against
46 KL577 : Suspended, he was not exonerated or something. Again, I find it shocking to see that people claim that persons who are supposedly directly responsibl
47 BrouAviation : I know that, but do you think it's fair telling someone who might have done something really wrong in the past, there won't be any prosecutions anymo
48 B6MoneyGuyJFK : So, instead of being prosecuted and locked up for the last 15 years, he lived his life in freedom. Now, these (possible) past actions (may) have caug
49 Caribillo : You are right. If someone throws you into the ocean, your wife and your child don't miss you at all... come on.... If I were on the plane and the com
50 Post contains links Lima : Argentine newspaper Pagina 12 published an article about two weeks ago denouncing that one of the Electras that participated in such death flights is
51 Post contains links Keesje : There is 1 photo in the data base, from 1981 .. http://www.airliners.net/photo/Argen...heed-L-188C(PF)-Electra/1310091/M/
52 PHBUF : anybody noticed..this Captain is featured on the World Air Routes Transavia DVD..he's the PIC of the 738 flight from Amsterdam - Izmir - Amsterdam!
53 ATLTPA : " target=_blank>http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/el....html Interesting reaction on the part of the newspaper. I would argue that this discovery is a
54 Bennett123 : I wonder how people would react if he was a "normal" muderer. I see no reason why muder should be forgiven if you do not get caught for x years. As wi
55 Aviateur : No, that's not it at all. He wasn't some illiterate peasant farmer living under a warlord in Afghanistan. This was Argentina, a civilized country wit
56 ULMFlyer : I had been waiting to hear from more Argentinians before posting in this thread. But in their absence, I must say I have to agree with Patrick. Havin
57 Jana : The whole case did damage the HV image though in my perception not that much. The airline did not to put too much attention (ignoring?) by giving very
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