The co-pilot who deliberately caused Germany’s worst post-war air disaster was suffering from a “serious psychosomatic illness” and had sought treatment for vision problems that could have ended his flying career, officials close to the inquiry and police investigating the Germanwings plane crash revealed yesterday.
The findings come from evidence found at the home of Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot who smashed the Germanwings Airbus 320 into the French Alps on Tuesday, killing himself and the other 149 passengers and crew aboard. The 27-year-old was being treated by “several neurologists and psychiatrists”, one of the leaders of the Düsseldorf task force investigating the incident told Die Welt am Sonntag yesterday.
“There is clear evidence of a serious psychosomatic illness,” the investigator added. “He [Lubitz] was suffering from a severe subjective stress syndrome and was heavily depressed.” Police said they also found large amounts of medication needed to treat depression in the pilot’s Düsseldorf flat
A heavily pregnant woman has been hospitalised in France after being assaulted by two men in what her husband claims was an ‘Islamophobic act’.
One of the attackers hit 29-year-old Kedidja, who was wearing a headscarf, several times and threw her to the ground as she dropped her two children off at school in Toulouse, La Depeche reports.
Her husband Munir says they grabbed her hair and pulled at her veil while yelling ‘none of that here’ at the nine-months-pregnant woman who is due to give birth in mid-April.
She is now recovering and her unborn baby is believed to be unharmed, but her husband revealed that she has not stopped crying since the attack on Tuesday morning.
The woman’s husband, 33, has labelled the attack as Islamophobic, telling French newspaper La Depeche that one of the men grabbed his wife’s hair, pulled at her veil while yelling ‘none of that here’ [pas de ça chez nous].
It is understood the attacker’s friend stopped the attack, before the pair yelled racist abuse, reportedly threatened to kill the woman, and then fled the scene.
Will the #jesuischarlie crew chime in and condemn this crime now?
The pilot who crashed a plane in the French Alps had received a sick note from doctors showing he suffered a health condition that would have prevented him flying the day of the crash, which he apparently hid from his employer, German prosecutors said.
French prosecutors believe Andreas Lubitz, 27, locked himself alone in the cockpit of the Germanwings Airbus A320 on Tuesday and deliberately steered it into a mountain, killing all 150 people on board.
“Documents with medical contents were confiscated that point towards an existing illness and corresponding treatment by doctors,” said the prosecutors’ office in Duesseldorf, where the co-pilot lived and where the doomed flight from Barcelona was heading.
“The fact there are sick notes saying he was unable to work, among other things, that were found torn up, which were recent and even from the day of the crime, support the assumption based on the preliminary examination that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and his professional colleagues,” the German prosecutors said.
Investigators were scouring for clues on Friday to help solve the mystery of why Andreas Lubitz, a 27-year-old German co-pilot, apparently slammed Germanwings Flight 9525 into a mountainside in the French Alps on purpose, killing all 150 on board. Prosecutors are examining several theories, including that the crash was a suicide or a mass murder.
On Thursday, the French prosecutor leading the investigation said the evidence from the cockpit voice recorder suggested that Mr. Lubitz, a former flight attendant with a passion for flying, had locked the pilot out of the cockpit and deliberately set the plane on its lethal descent.
The crash claimed victims from more than a dozen countries, including Germany, Spain and the United States.
French authorities say they believe that Flight 4U 9525 was crashed intentionally by its copilot, 28-year-old Andreas Lubitz. Prosecutor Brice Robin says that after the flight’s pilot left the cockpit Lubitz initiated the plane’s loss of altitude and refused to allow the pilot to reenter. From the New York Times:
He said it appeared that the co-pilot’s intention had been “to destroy the aircraft.” He said that the voice recorder showed that the co-pilot had been breathing until before the moment of impact, suggesting that he was conscious and deliberate in his actions. He said that his inquiry had shown that the crash was intentional.
The door of the Airbus A320 involved in the crash, according to reports, could have been opened by the pilot outside via keypad unless it had been actively switched to a “locked” setting by the co-pilot inside the cockpit.
Unconfirmed reports say voice recordings from the Germanwings passenger jet that crashed in the French Alps suggest one of the pilots had been locked out of the cockpit.
The New York Times says in its report that it has spoken to a French military official involved in the investigation.
According to the report, after a perfectly normal conversation in German between the two pilots during the early part of the flight, “the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter”.
An Airbus plane operated by Lufthansa’s Germanwings budget airline crashed in southern France on Tuesday en route from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, police and aviation officials said.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said he understood between 142 and 150 people were on board and feared dead.
“The cause is at present unknown,” he told reporters.
A spokesman for the DGAC aviation authority said the airplane crashed near the town of Barcelonnette about 100 km (65 miles) north of the French Riviera city of Nice.
Berlin - Rabbis and Imams biked together throughout Berlin Sunday evening in a show of solidarity between Jews and Muslims.
The group took part in Bicycle Week with the motto “Cycling Unites,” riding tandem bicycles with one rabbi and one imam on each bike, reports the Berliner (bit.ly ).
Cyclists started at the Brandenburg Gate and visited Jewish and Muslim institutions throughout the ride.
Project meet2respect, a campaign that promotes bringing together different faiths and providing education, with a specific focus on bringing together Jewish and Muslim faiths, led the ride (bit.ly ).
Cyclists Ferid Heider, an imam in various Berlin mosque communities, and Daniel Alter, a Berlin rabbi, work together via meet2respect and tour education and community events in Berlin promoting peace.
Hundreds of cyclists joined the rabbis and imams in the ride and followed them on their tour.
France’s centre-right UMP party and its allies have taken first place in the first round of local elections, partial results show.
Projections suggest that the far-right National Front - despite strong gains - came second with about 25% of the vote, behind the conservatives on 30%.
President Francois Hollande’s governing Socialists came third with about 20%.
Voters are electing representatives in 101 departments, or counties, charged with issues like schools and welfare.
Prosecutors have made Serbia’s first arrests of people suspected of carrying out killings in the 1995 Srebrenica massacre, The Associated Press has learned — a significant milestone toward healing the wounds of Europe’s worst civilian slaughter since World War II.
Serbian police arrested eight men Wednesday who are accused of taking part in the slaughter of more than 1,000 Muslims at a warehouse on the outskirts of Srebrenica, a team of Serbian and Bosnian prosecutors told the AP. Altogether, more than 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys were killed in the eastern Bosnian enclave by the Serbs in 1995 — the only atrocity in Europe to be labeled genocide by the United Nations since World War II.
Serbian prosecutors said they initially arrested seven suspects in pre-dawn raids at different locations in Serbia, then caught the eighth suspect later Wednesday after a manhunt.
Chief Serbian War Crimes Prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic told the AP that all those arrested “are former members of a special brigade of the Bosnian Serb police.”