Seeks Apology From Journalist And Halt To 'Damaging
The Association of Relatives and
Friends of Gol's Flight 1907 Victims confirmed this weekend that
Rosane Gutjhar, widow of one of the victims of the September 2006
downing of Gol flight 1907, filed suit for damages for pain and
suffering against New York Times journalist Joe Sharkey.
The lawsuit was filed in October 2008,
as ANN reported. Last week, Judge Dr. Humberto
G. Brito, of Curitiba's 18th Civil Office, released the letter
rogatory -- a request assistance from a foreign court -- against
the journalist. The letter is with a sworn translator and later it
will go to the Justice Department and Itamaraty (Foreign Relations)
for its issuance to the United States.
According to the lawsuit, Sharkey -- a passenger in the Legacy
600 that collided with the Gol Linhas Aéreas' Boeing 737-800
-- "with great influence in the media, began a campaign in his blog
in favor of the jet's pilots with the objective to move his
countrymen in order to prevent the pilots' return to Brazil."
Pilots Joseph Lepore and Jan Paladino were detained in
Brazil until December 2006, virtual prisoners in a Rio
de Janeiro hotel for more than two months due to local police and
media that were quick to blame the surviving pilots for the
accident. A Brazilian judge held the mens' passports, preventing
them from legally leaving the country.
Sharkey was among the most vocal -- but far from only --
proponents calling for the men to be released and allowed to return
home, pending formal charges. According to Gutjhar, the journalist
"began offending Brazilians indiscriminately, which prompted the
widow to file suit seeking relief for pain and suffering."
In the petition filed by the widow's lawyers, Oscar
Fleischfresser and Carla Fleischfresser, in the 18th lower civil
court in Curitiba, there is a suggestion to take as a parameter for
non-financial damages awarded, similar values to those that would
apply to the journalist in his own country.
"This would be a way to halt, effectively, his illegal and
damaging behavior, in detriment of the widow and all other
Brazilian citizens. The other request is to have a judicial
instruction for him to apologize to all the Brazilian citizens,
through the same media used by him," concludes Fleischfresser.
We can't speak for Sharkey... but judging from his posted
response to last
week's release of the Brazilian air force report on the
crash -- written by "a group of people who owe their
paychecks to the military authority responsible for operating the
very air-space in which the accident occurred," Sharkey wrote on
his blog -- we boldly predict the Amazon will freeze before he