ExcelAire Pilots Face August 27 Testimony Deadline

 - August 21, 2007, 11:31 AM

The date is fast approaching for two ExcelAire pilots to testify about the midair between the Embraer Legacy 600 they were flying and a Gol Airlines Boeing 737 in Brazil last September. A Brazilian judge has 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. Four air traffic controllers were also indicted, and their testimony is due on August 28. According to Joel Weiss, Lepore’s and Paladino’s U.S. attorney, the two pilots will not return to Brazil to testify. “The pilots will appear through their attorney in Brazil, Theo Dias,” Weiss told AIN. “As a first step, Theo is going to petition the Brazilian judge to reconsider his decision that the pilots should render testimony in Brazil. 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.