Julio Poch denied involvement in “death flights”

Julio Poch

Former naval aviator was denounced by his own comrades, who heard him confess his crimes, in a Netherlands.

Julio Alberto Poch denied having participated in the “death flights” from which alive political prisoners, held captive at  School of Naval Mechanics (ESMA), were thrown alive to the sea during the last military dictatorship.

In a preliminary statement that lasted nearly nine hours before Federal Judge Sergio Torres, in which he answered questions from the judge and the prosecutor Eduardo Taiano, Poch blamed his former colleagues in the Tran-savia airline for an alleged “misunderstanding” and he denied even knowing about the Argentine method to make people dissapear.

His former colleagues from Transavia said the pilot  boasted about having thrown alive people into the sea during the military dictatorship.

Poch, 57, retired from the Navy in 1981. Already in democracy, he settled with his wife and three children in a village 25 km from Amsterdam, Zuidscherme.

He worked for Transavia until September 22, 2009. During his stopover in Valencia, where he had bought a house and thought to settle to enjoy retirement, he was arrested by Spanish police at the request of Argentine Justice.

Judge Sergio Torres had requested his international arrest after hearing in person, in the Netherlands, witnesses of Poch’s confession.

8 Responses to Julio Poch denied involvement in “death flights”

  1. Facts : Julio Poch has not been involved in ESMA even not for a single day,
    The ESMA clausule was clearly a ‘Torres trick’ , as later confessed by Tim Weert.
    Julio Poch never flew prop aircraft in the period march 1976- dec. 1980 concluded by experts and accepted by judge Torres.
    It is time to heal the wounds and stop this ridiculous proces. Mr. Maroni says that the Kirchners, who have publicly vindicated the leftist ideological struggle of the 1970s, are taking revenge.

  2. Dirk,

    the fact that Julio Poch flew fighter jets, doesn’t mean he was incapable of flying other planes.

    Besides, the reason Spain extradited him was not the confession he made to his collegea’s, but the fact he was located at ESMA.

    How ESMA dealt with her prisoners (something you seem to deny in your first reply) can be read in the testimonies of it’s commander Jorge “El Tigre” Acosta.

    As you are probably aware, one of Julio’s direct collegues has already been convicted and went to jail the same day Poch was released on bail.

    Even though its possible that the legal proof can’t be delivered, his arrest can hardly be called a blunder.

    (ps De Telegraaf…steunt die de fascistische regimes niet door dik en dun? Ze deden dat met Hitler, Mussolinni, Franco, Salazar, Pinochet en Videla. Niet verwonderlijk dat ze een inzamelingsactie voor Poch op touw hebben gezet.)

    • @Nog1
      Heeft u enig bewijs dat ‘De Telegraaf’ door ‘dik en dun’ de regeringen van Hitler, Mussolini enz steunden. Of zijn dit insinuaties, dezelfde soort insinuaties die in het proces-Poch zo’n belangrijke rol spelen!

  3. Don’t jump into conclusions! You should know that!!

  4. I would like to inform you of the status of the investigation in the legal proceeding by which Federal Judge Dr. Sergio TORRES, in charge of the Federal National Criminal and Correctional Court No. 12 in Argentina, requested the international capture and subsequent extradition to the Netherlands and Spain of Mr. Julio Alberto POCH.
    It is necessary to point out that the so-called “DEATH FLIGHTS” represent a segment or part of the investigation into the alleged disappearance of persons who would have been seen on the property of the ESMA. It is precisely for this reason that since the beginning of the investigation it has been assumed that all those persons who were detained there and who then disappeared, would have been eliminated with this system of flights.

    That said then, the investigation assumes the existence of these events based on two elements: 1) that several persons detained at the property of the ESMA, and that had been allegedly seen by survivors, to this date have not appeared and 2) that at least in the degree of presumption, it would have been proven that some bodies were thrown into the sea, this assumption being based on the finding of remains on the Argentinean coast, which after various analysis were identified as belonging to militants who had dissapeared, and on an alleged confession, however confusing, regarding those flights made by former Navy member, Rodolfo SCILINGO, currently convicted by the justice of the Kingdom of Spain.

    It is Important to mention that in the various listings that, during the three decades that have elapsed since the events took place, have been contributed by investigators, prosecutors, plaintiffs and other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) who actively follow these trials, Julio A . POCH was never mentioned. But apart from not having been mentioned by anyone, it does not arise from any evidence (files, documents,flight logbooks, testimony of surviving victims, testimony of the Armed Forces or Security Forces staff) that Julio A. POCH could be linked, if only coincidentally, to these events.

    The very brief activity that POCH had as a pilot of the Navy of the Argentine Republic (hereafter ARA) never interested any of the investigators, for the simple reason that due to the naval destinations that he had, the specialization and type of planes that he flew during those years, he could have never been involved in the so-called “DEATH FLIGHTS” nor have been aware of their existence.

    As it could not be otherwise, the individualization and accusation of Mr. POCH in the ESMA case has its exclusive genesis in the false claims that were made by a few pilots of the company TRANSAVIA, giving a distorted and malicious version of a conversation that would have taken place more than 6 years ago, at a dinner in the restaurant GADO GADO, in Bali (Indonesia), in which, according to them, POCH would have admitted to have flown the airplanes that materialized the “DEATH FLIGHTS”.

    Of course, when this version came to the attention of the Federal Judge in Argentina, the first thing he did was to confirm whether Julio POCH had been a pilot of the ARA during the so-called National Reorganization Process (1976/1983), and once he ratified this circumstance, without further ado, he released an international arrest warrant followed by the different extradition requests mentioned above.

    In short, against Julio A. POCH, all that exists is the false version that has been given about a non-existent confession and his condition of Navy pilot during those years. That is all.

    On the other hand, there is strong testimonial and documentary evidence which is absolutely irrefutable that amply proves that it is absurd to suppose that Julio A. POCH, has piloted such flights or even piloted any transport flights.

    In fact, POCH graduated as a midshipman (lowest rank among the officers of the ARA) in 1974. Shortly after, he enrolled in the naval aviation, training exclusively on combat airplanes, especially in single-seaters. In his short military career, which ends in 1980, he was always stationed at two navy bases of the ARA (Punta Indio and the Base Comandante Espora, in the City of Bahía Blanca), he was never stationed in the City of Buenos Aires. He was also fighter pilot in the aircraft carrier 25 de Mayo, an activity that requires special training.

    His naval file overflows with records that clearly reflect his expertise in single-seater and combat airplanes.

    Moreover, for most of the year 1977 (period of crucial importance in the fight against subversion in Argentina), POCH was stationed at a U.S. airbase in Texas, training to fly combat aircraft Douglas Skyhawk A4-Q. It is striking that the name of this aircraft appears on the extradition request made by Federal Judge Torres, noting that it was proven that he was an officer of the ARA and that he was piloting this airplane, since mentioning this type of machine follows a logical technical unawareness of the above mentioned Magistrate who undoutedly ignored that it was a plane that is clearly unsuitable to transport people.

    It is documented in his naval file that from his early years as pilot of the ARA, POCH requested retirement or discharge of that force, due to loss of vocation, and that these requests were being systematically denied to him by his superiors, for the simple reason that this was a pilot who had been highly trained to operate combat airplanes and that the force could not lose such a man.

    It is very illustrative that in one of the many denials, one of POCH’s superiors, said it was not possible to accept the request to leave the force because POCH had been trained in operating the plane Douglas SkyHawk A4-Q SkyHawk, and that this was an airplane which would play a key role in Naval Aviation. He could not have been more right, because as you know, during the War for the Recovery of the Falkland Islands, which occurred a few years later in 1982, this machine left an indelible mark in history.

    That file, as I was saying, includes the various requests by POCH to retire to civilian life, which one by one were being denied, but in one of them, resigned to receive yet another denial, POCH asked to be allowed to operate another type of larger airplanes, which well shows that until then he had not been able to operate larger aircraft.

    In 1980, POCH retired from the A.R.A. and after a gradual training became a pilot in the commercial airline AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS.

    It is not a minor detail that during the Falklands War, POCH was called as a reserve pilot and remained throughout the conflict in the Punta Indio Naval Air Base, retraining with the single-seater fighter aircraft Aermacchi MB-326, until the conflict ended without him engaging in combat. Note that he was summoned to fly combat airplanes, not transport aircraft, despite the fact that he was coming from a commercial aviation company, and could now be trained for other types of machines.

    The flight logbooks belonging to Julio POCH, which were seized by the Dutch authorities from his home, only serve to show that it is entirely illogical to assume that a young single-seater fighter pilot, had been used to fly ELECTRA airplanes or airplanes of similar size, to transport people.

    As I was saying, it is this impossible link of POCH to the events under investigation, which led to him never being part of any list of suspects or participants in the events, being the confusing version that some Dutch pilots have given of a conversation, the only cause that led to his unjust imprisonment in a Spanish jail since the month of September 2009 where he awaits to be extradited to Argentina

    Dirk Lokhorst (retired captain Transavia)

    • Dirk, it seems like you are so passionate about Poch that you either have something to hide yourself when you were a pilot or else you’re in love with this murderer!

  5. Poch fue error de detención ”

    por Kieran Kaal
    BUENOS AIRES – Todo indica que una gran metida de pata de Justicia ha hecho de la detención y extradición de Julio Poch. El ex piloto de Transavia al final de su patria ni remotamente se confirmó en la acusación que él era “vuelos de la muerte” durante la dictadura militar (’76-’83).
    Eso hace que The Times sobre el informe de dos estudios de ser interrogado por el juez Sergio Torres.
    Esta debe decidir ahora si Pochverder procesados.
    “Políticamente, Torres no podía ser de otra manera. Él no tiene la pierna jurídica de pie “, dijo Poch abogado Gerardo Ibañez. Ibáñez se desplomó un documento de los archivos de la Armada Argentina. En julio de 1980 piloto de caza Poch pidió traslado a “un escuadrón de aviones de transporte con el fin de adquirir experiencia en múltiples motores de las aeronaves. Así que quiere prepararse para – mejor pagados – la aviación civil. Reasignación no lo hace. En diciembre recibió su deseada se retiró del ejército.
    No parece confirmar que el documento nunca voló aviones de carga Poch para la Armada. Sólo aquí, los presos políticos fueron arrojados al mar. También de acuerdo con los registros Pochalleen aviones controlados con un motor, un deporte completamente diferente, según los expertos de vuelo.
    El segundo pilar de la acusación se tambalea. Transavia dos colegas que dijo Poch en Bali en 2003 el silencio sobre su papel en los vuelos de la muerte, son internos que no tenía “ikvorm”, dijo. Uno de ellos, Edwin RB, se negará a declarar si le pidió al juez Torres que, de acuerdo a las declaraciones formuladas en las manos de De Telegraaf.

  6. I have worked together with Julio , a person with great integrity and always believed his innocence.
    The stories of cap. Weird (weert) and Reynoudt Brouwer are fabrcated.
    Last thursday may 26 Telegraaf Netherland finally uncovered the real story about Julio and his innocence, and therefore also Argentinian public must be aware of this..

    Arrest Poch was blunder’

    door Kieran Kaal (Teleraaf 26 may)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>