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    KILLING OF SWISS AIR CRASH CONTROLLER MAY BE AN ACT OF VENGEANCE, INVESTIGATORS SAY

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    GENEVA, February 25, 2004. (RIA Novosti) - An investigation has been launched into the murder of the air traffic controller on duty when two planes collided over southern Germany in July 2002. Seventy-one people -mostly Russian schoolchildren- died in the resultant air crash. Speaking to the press Wednesday, public prosecutor Pascal Gossner said his colleagues and he were looking into whether the killing was an act of vengeance on behalf of the bereaved families.

    The killer is identified as a man in his late forties, speaking broken German. He stabbed the controller, a 36-year-old Danish national, at his home outside Zurich late last night. The victim's wife was in the house at the moment of killing. The investigators are now trying to find out if he received any threats before his violent death.

    The controller, employed by the Swiss air traffic agency Skyguide, was the only one on duty the night of the fatal collision between a Boeing cargo jet and a Russian Tu-154 airliner. According to one of the theories, the tragedy was a direct consequence of his erroneous instructions to the pilot of the Russian plane.

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