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Panel to review results of Garang crash probe

Nov 7, 2005 (KHARTOUM) — The team investigating the helicopter crash that killed former south Sudanese rebel leader John Garang is due to start reviewing the results of the probe next week in Uganda, a committee member said Monday.

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Sudanese First Vice President John Garang boards a helicopter at Entebbe International Airport on his way to meet Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni at his country home in Mbarara, western Uganda, July 29, 2005. (Reuters).

Seraj Eddin Hamid said the international panel would start meeting in Entebbe, Uganda, next Monday to "review what has so far been accomplished to build on it and formulate a final report on the crash".

Hamid said a four-member team representing Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and the United States "will, as of November 17, begin questioning 35 people from Uganda, Russia and the SPLM, including Garang’s widow, Rebecca", related to the July 30 crash on the Sudan-Uganda border.

The historical leader of Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) died only days after moving to Khartoum to assume his new position as first vice-president and was the emblematic figure of the January peace deal that ended 21 years of north-south civil war.

There was no indication of foul play in the crash that killed a total of 14 people, but many southerners had accused President Omar al-Beshir of engineering an assassination, citing the many air crashes that had killed leading regime figures for years.

(AFP/ST)