Prosecutor: Germanwings co-pilot feared going blind

2015-06-11 21:59
Andreas Lubitz taking part in a run in Hamburg, northern Germany. (Michael Mueller,  AP)

Andreas Lubitz taking part in a run in Hamburg, northern Germany. (Michael Mueller, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Paris - The co-pilot who crashed a Germanwings jet into the Alps feared that he was losing his eyesight, and some of the many doctors he consulted felt he was unfit to fly, a French prosecutor said on Thursday.

The doctors didn't report their concerns to Andreas Lubitz's employers, however, because of German patient privacy laws, Marseille Prosecutor Brice Robin told reporters in Paris.

Robin met with families of victims on Thursday and updated reporters on the status of the investigation into the March 24 crash, which killed all 150 people aboard. 

Robin said the investigation so far "has enabled us to confirm without a shadow of a doubt ... Mr Andreas Lubitz deliberately destroyed the plane and deliberately killed 150 people, including himself". Investigators say he locked the pilot out of the cockpit and flew the plane into a French mountainside, after having researched suicide methods and cockpit door rules and practised an unusual descent.

Robin said Lubitz had also investigated vision problems, and "feared going blind" - a career-ending malady for a pilot.

Lubitz had seen seven doctors within the month before the March 24 crash, including three appointments with a psychiatrist, Robin said. Some of the doctors felt Lubitz was psychologically unstable, and some felt he was unfit to fly, but "unfortunately that information was not reported because of medical secrecy requirements", the prosecutor said.

In Germany, doctors risk prison if they disclose information about their patients to anyone unless there is evidence they intend to commit a serious crime or harm themselves.

The question for investigators now is who could be held responsible. The prosecutor upgraded the investigation from a preliminary probe to a full-fledged manslaughter inquiry, which hands the case to investigating magistrates who can file eventual charges against people or entities.

German lawyer Peter Kortas, whose firm represents relatives of 34 victims, said negotiations with Germanwings about compensation began several days ago. 

"There are two points in these negotiations: First, the material loss for the material damages, and it is also about damages for pain and suffering."


Read more on:    germanwings  |  france  |  germanwings crash

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.