ExcelAire Pilots To Remain in U.S.

 - August 29, 2007, 6:40 AM

A Brazilian judge asked ExcelAire pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino to return to Brazil to testify at the August 27 beginning of the trial on criminal charges, but according to Joel Weiss, their U.S. attorney, the two pilots did not return to Brazil to testify. Both pilots were held for 71 days in Brazil after the midair between the Embraer Legacy 600 they were flying and a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 in Brazil last September. For the August 27 deadline, the plan was to have the pilots appear through their Brazilian attorney, Theo Dias, Weiss told AIN. “Jan and Joe are entirely willing to testify in the proceedings and want to testify in the proceedings,” he added, but their testimony will be in accordance with the Brazil/U.S. extradition treaty and a mutual legal assistance treaty signed in 1991, both of which allow the accused to testify from their home country. If the judge does not accept this, that decision will be appealed, Weiss said.