More suspects to emerge after Total’s CEO death

New suspects are likely to emerge in the ongoing Russian investigation into the accident in Moscow’s Vnukovo airport that killed the CEO of French oil giant Total, a Russian Investigative Committee spokesman told RIANovosti on Tuesday.

“Although first suspects have already been identified in the case, it is evident that the negligent behavior of perpetrators was, naturally, overlooked by the upper management, whose actions or inaction will undoubtedly undergo a proper legal scrutiny, and we do not rule out more detentions in this case,” Vladimir Markin said.

“Moreover, investigators will take measures soon to suspend some airport officials, who may hinder the investigation, from official duty,” the spokesman added.

Russia’s Investigative Committee will legally assess the actions of the leadership of the air company over the crash of the Falcon plane with Total CEO Christophe de Margerie on board, Investigative Commitee spokesman Vladimir Markin told TASS.

The chief executive of French oil major Total was killed when a business jet collided with a snow plough during takeoff at Moscow’s Vnukovo International Airport, the company and airport officials said.
The collision occurred late on Monday, minutes before midnight Moscow time, the airport said in a statement. The Dassault Falcon business jet carrying de Margerie was heading to Paris, Reuters reported.

“The investigators will soon take measures to suspend from office a number of airport staff members who may impede the investigation. Despite the appearance of the first suspects in the case, it is also obvious that senior managers of the air company the action and inaction of which will be legally assessed during the investigation, are behind the negligent conduct of the persons directly responsible for the incident,” he said.

Markin did not rule out that more suspects may be detained during the criminal case investigation.

Investigators confiscated all video and audio recordings from the crash scene of the private Falcon-300 jet to establish those responsible for the tragic incident.

The driver of the snowplow that collided with the jet that crashed at a Moscow airport killing all four people on board, has been detained for 48 hours. The driver was drunk at the time of the accident when the snowplow he was operating crashed into the four-seat Falcon-300 airplane, which caught fire and fell onto the runway. Three crewmembers and France’s oil giant Total CEO Christophe de Margerie died in the jet’s crash.

The French Air Accident Bureau (BEA) has sent its experts to Moscow who will join the Interstate Aviation Committee (IAC) investigating the circumstances of the death of Total CEO Christophe de Margerie.
A team of three investigators is due to arrive in Russia soon, the Agence France-Presse reported on Tuesday.

The Paris Prosecutor General’s Office has opened a criminal case into “involuntary manslaughter” following the tragic death of the Total CEO.