Radio Netherlands Worldwide 01/11/2010

‘Death flight’ pilot about to be released

AD interviews the wife of Julio Poch, who stands accused of taking part in Argentina’s death flights between 1976 and 1982. During the ‘dirty war’, opponents of Argentina’s junta were thrown alive from airplanes above the sea to their deaths. Julio Poch is accused of being involved in 615 disappearances. The paper reports Mr Poch could be released in the next few days.

The pilot was arrested in Valencia in Spain 13 months ago, just before the take off of his last flight for KLM. He had been arrested on the strength of statements by colleagues who said he boasted that he had taken part in the death flights.

In May he was extradited to Argentina, but local courts say there is not enough evidence to convict the former pilot. Because of this, the Public Prosecution Office has been given more time to gather proof that he was involved in the murders. Meanwhile Mr Poch will have to remain in Argentina. His wife, Grethe, says she hopes “the nightmare will finally end.”