Army pistol found in death flight pilot’s home

Police have found an Argentine army pistol at the Zuidschermer home of a Transavia pilot arrested for his alleged role in carrying out death flights for the military junta, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.

Julio Poch was arrested in Spain earlier this week. He holds Dutch and Argentine nationality and has worked for Transavia since 1988. Tuesday should have been his last flight for the airline before retiring.
Argentina was ruled by the junta from 1976 to 1983. One way it disposed of opponents was to throw them out of planes into the sea. Thousands of people disappeared during the period of military rule.
A number of Argentine newspapers report that Poch told colleague pilots about his role in the death flights over dinner in 2007.
The subject came up in a discussion about princess Máxima, the Argentine wife of heir to the throne Willem-Alexander. Máxima’s father Jorge Zorreguieta was agriculture minister during the junta era.
Poch apparently told his table mates they had the wrong idea about the junta period and that the death flights involved killing ‘left-wing terrorists’.
Other sources claim Poch first spoke about his role when Máxima and Willem-Alexander became engaged in 2001.
Argentine investigator Sergio Torres told the Volkskrant an international arrest warrent for Poch was issued in March this year.
Meanwhile, MPs have demanded to know how he managed to get through tight security screening for pilots.

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