During the tribute to Emiliano Sala, in Nantes.

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A man suspected of having played the role of intermediary to organize the theft which carried footballer Emiliano Sala in 2019 appeared on Monday by video conference in a Welsh court and will be tried in October 2021.

David Henderson, 66, pleaded not guilty to breaches of air navigation law at a court hearing Monday in Cardiff, Wales.

He is accused of risking the safety of an aircraft as well as of attempting to disembark a passenger without permission or valid authorization.

Ibbotson at the helm, not Henderson

This pilot had been mandated by the player's agent, Willie McKay, to originally take his place at the controls of the plane, before he inexplicably left his place to David Ibbotson, the pilot who caused the crash.

Death of Emiliano Sala: The pilot was maneuvering "too fast" and had "no training in night flight" https://t.co/4VEx4gs4gW via @ 20minutesnantes pic.twitter.com/myBwvKmrM3

- 20 Minutes Nantes (@ 20minutesnantes) March 13, 2020

This man from East Yorkshire (northern England) was released on bail.

His trial is scheduled for October 18, 2021, Judge Tracey Lloyd-Clarke said.

Mr Henderson's attorney, Stephen Spence, said he would raise the question of whether Cardiff was a "suitable place" for a fair trial, given Emiliano Sala's connection to the club. Welsh capital football.

Loss of control after a poorly executed maneuver

The small private plane aboard which the 28-year-old Argentinian player and pilot David Ibbotson were aboard crashed in the English Channel on January 21, 2019. The FC Nantes striker was joining the club Cardiff City, where he came from. be transferred for 17 million euros.

The body of the player, whose disappearance had moved the football world, had been found in the carcass of the device, more than two weeks after the accident, at a depth of 67 meters.

The body of the 59-year-old pilot has not been found.

In its final report published last March, the British Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) estimated that the pilot had lost control of the aircraft during a maneuver performed at too high a speed, "probably" intended to avoid bad weather to be able to fly on sight.


Death of Emiliano Sala: Legal proceedings against David Henderson, the "phantom pilot"


Death of Emiliano Sala: The president of the Cardiff club heard in Nantes

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