Momento24 29/05/2010

Julio Poch denied involvement in “death flights”

Former naval aviator was denounced by his own comrades, who heard him confess his crimes, in a Netherlands.

Julio Alberto Poch denied having participated in the “death flights” from which alive political prisoners, held captive at  School of Naval Mechanics (ESMA), were thrown alive to the sea during the last military dictatorship.

In a preliminary statement that lasted nearly nine hours before Federal Judge Sergio Torres, in which he answered questions from the judge and the prosecutor Eduardo Taiano, Poch blamed his former colleagues in the Tran-savia airline for an alleged “misunderstanding” and he denied even knowing about the Argentine method to make people dissapear.

His former colleagues from Transavia said the pilot  boasted about having thrown alive people into the sea during the military dictatorship.

Poch, 57, retired from the Navy in 1981. Already in democracy, he settled with his wife and three children in a village 25 km from Amsterdam, Zuidscherme.

He worked for Transavia until September 22, 2009. During his stopover in Valencia, where he had bought a house and thought to settle to enjoy retirement, he was arrested by Spanish police at the request of Argentine Justice.

Judge Sergio Torres had requested his international arrest after hearing in person, in the Netherlands, witnesses of Poch’s confession.