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Second suspect in Brazilian football team air crash put in jail
December 10, 2016 / 2:25 PM / 8 months ago

Second suspect in Brazilian football team air crash put in jail

Gustavo Vargas Villegas of the DGAC is arrested by police officers, following last month's crash of charter airline LaMia into the Colombian jungle that killed players from the Brazilian soccer team Chapecoense, in La Paz, Bolivia, December 8, 2016. Stringer/APG Agency via REUTERS

LA PAZ (Reuters) - Bolivian authorities have jailed the second suspect accused of wrongdoing in the air crash that wiped out Brazil's Chapacoense football team last month, prosecutors said on Saturday.

Gustavo Vargas Villegas, a former official with Bolivia's aviation authority was arrested and will be held until trial on charges that he misused his influence in authorizing the license of the Bolivian plane that crashed in Colombia while taking the team to Medellin for the Copa Sudamericana.

His father, Gustavo Vargas Gamboa, former chief executive of the LaMia charter airline company, was jailed Thursday pending trial on charges including manslaughter over the Nov. 28 crash.

Both have said they are innocent.

"I am innocent. I did not authorise the operating licenses," Vargas Villegas told reporters on Friday. Vargas Gamboa said on Thursday: "The prosecutors are a bunch of liars

The accident killed 71 people after the plane apparently ran out of fuel, shocking the global football community and sparking questions about why the aircraft would have tried to make the international flight with what looks to have been less than the required amount of fuel in its tanks.

"The prosecution has collected statements and evidence showing the participation of the accused in the crimes of misusing influence, conduct incompatible with public office and breach of duties," La Paz District Attorney Edwin Blanco told reporters, referring to the Vargas Villegas.

Reporting by Daniel Ramos, writing by Hugh Bronstein Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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