Ukraine's Supreme Court Starts Considering Appeal by Victims Of 2002 Air Show Crash

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine's Supreme Court on Monday began hearing an appeal filed by relatives of those killed in a 2002 air show seeking harsher sentences for the pilots of a plane that crashed and demanding adequate compensation, officials said.

Lviv, Ukraine Air Show Tragedy July 27, 2002

Seventy-seven people were killed when the pilots' Su-27 jet fighter sliced into the crowd on the ground at a Lviv air field and exploded.

Last June, a military court sentenced the pilot and co-pilot, who ejected and survived, to prison terms of eight and 14 years, and ordered them to pay a total of some US$2 million (-1.6 million) to be used for compensation.

However, the average military pilot earns the equivalent of just US$100 (euro80) a month and there appears little chance they could meet the payment order.

The victims' families have received no compensation and filed an appeal in August, seeking harsher sentences for the pilots and demanding compensation of US$200,000 (-180,000) for each fatality.

The court started hearing the case on Monday, said court spokeswoman Natalia Sarapyn.

Source: AP