Mar 25 2009
A Tunisian pilot who paused to pray instead of taking emergency measures before crash-landing his plane, killing 16 people, has been sentenced to 10 years in jail by an Italian court along with his co-pilot.
So, of course the first thing I wanted to do is confirm the religion of this Tunisian pilot.
Islam is the religion of about 99% of the population in Tunisia. It is also the religion of the State according to the Constitution. Such poles of religious learning, as Zeitouna Mosque in Tunis and the city of Kairouan, have for centuries provided enlightened and progressive interpretations of Islam to the world. The Tunisian state assumes today the role of protector of the Islamic faith in the country.
The 2005 crash at sea off Sicily left survivors swimming for their lives, some clinging to a piece of the fuselage that remained floating after the ATR turbo-prop aircraft splintered upon impact.
A fuel-gauge malfunction was partly to blame but prosecutors also said the pilot succumbed to panic, praying out loud instead of following emergency procedures and then opting to crash-land the plane instead trying to reach a nearby airport.
However prosecutors also said the pilot succumbed to panic, praying out loud instead of following emergency procedures.
Another five employees of Tuninter, a subsidiary of Tunisair, were sentenced to between eight and nine years in jail by the court, in a verdict handed down on Monday.
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