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Ethiopia claims Lebanon has tainted ET409 inquiry

February 28, 2010

Ethiopian Airlines CEO Girma Wake has issued a scathing list of grievances against the Republic of Lebanon over the ET409 crash inquiry, as reported on Saturday, February 27, by Kaleyesus Bekele in the Ethiopian newspaper, The Reporter.

Charges against Lebanon include (1) denied access to the families of the Lebanese passengers who perished when ET409, a Boeing 737-800, crashed some 4 minutes after taking off from Beirut (BEY) last January 25; (2) denied examination of the recovered remains; (3) discrepancy in the number of bodies reported as initially recovered, 25 compared with the 14 that were actually available at the Beirut morgue; (4) denied access examining the recovered CVR; (5) accusations that the CVR had been tampered with and partially erased; (6) inadequate responses to questions posed to Lebanese officials; (7) denied access to the crash site to make first hand observations; (8) denied access to a transcript of an interview with a Lebanese army officer who swore that he observed the aircraft explode while aloft, and failure to produce that witness; (9) leaking of false and misleading information; (10) breaking an agreement to preserve confidentiality; and (11) obstructing the investigation and keeping the Ethiopian 13-member delegation composed of senior pilots, medical personnel and other professionals from full participation in the investigation process.

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