Russian suspected of killing air traffic controller to face trial

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GENEVA, September 13 (RIA Novosti, Yekaterina Andrianova) - The Russian citizen charged with the murder of an air traffic controller will face trial in the Swiss Supreme Court of Zurich Oct. 25, which the court estimates will last for two days.

Vitaly Kaloyev, 49, was accused of stabbing to death Swiss Skyguide employee, 36-year old Peter Nielsen, who was on duty when two aircraft collided over Lake Constance killing 71, including Kaloyev's wife and two children. Nielsen was found dead in front of his house in the Zurich suburb of Kloten on the evening of Feb. 24, 2004.

Kaloyev only admitted partial guilt during the investigation. He said he had come to Nielsen's house on the day of the murder to show him the photos of his wife and children. Kaloyev said he did not remember what happened after Nielsen pushed him and the photos fell to the ground.

He was arrested the day after the murder in a hotel in Kloten and moved to a psychiatric clinic because officials feared he was at risk for suicide.

Doctors concluded that Kaloyev was sane at the time of the murder, and, in early March, Kaloyev was jailed.

In the early hours of July 2, 2002, a Bashkir Airlines Tu-154, carrying 69 people, mainly children going on vacation to Spain, crashed into a Boeing cargo plane.

The German Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation (BFU) placed the blame both on Skyguide and the two pilots aboard the Russian airliner.

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