Cyprus Court Clears Bulgarian Pilot on Plane Crash
The prosecuting authority in Nicosia has withdrawn charges against Bulgarian pilot Yanko Stoimenov in connection with a plane crash of Cypriot airline Helios.
On August 14, 2005, a Boeing 737-300 flying from Larnaka to Prague via Athens crashed north of the Greek capital, killing all of the 121 passengers and crew members onboard.
The crash was the worst accident on record for Greece and Cyprus.
The Court of first instance in Athens declared Helios' managing director Demetris Pantazis, flight operations manager Giorgos Kikkides, chief pilot Yanko Stoimenov and chief engineer Alan Irwin guilty of negligent manslaughter.
At the time of the accident, Stoimenov was chief pilot of Cypriot airline Helios but was not onboard the plane, according to reports of PRIVATE Bulgarian TV station bTV.
On February 9, the Supreme Court of Cyprus revoked the Stoimenov's acquittal from December 2011 and returned the case for retrial to the court of first instance.
The retrial was conducted by a new judge panel.
On February 7, an appellate court in Athens reduced the sentence of Stoimenov from 123 to 122 years of imprisonment, placing a bail bond of EUR 77 000.