On the evening of September 29, 2001, an Ilyushin-76 plane registered to Chabahar Air of Tehran, Iran, landed at the Bratislava airport and offloaded approximately three tons of cargo, which was to be loaded onto a Ukrainian plane for onward shipment to Angola. The Iranian plane departed again before authorities discovered that the contents of the shipment—504 units of anti-tank munitions packed in 84 containers—did not match the accompanying documents.101
The munitions, designed for an RPG-7 launcher and commonly referred to as rocket-propelled grenades, bore no markings indicating the producer, but they were evidently new and were likely manufactured in Iran.102 The RPG-7 launcher is ubiquitous in conflict regions around the globe. Iran produces, and makes available for export, several types of anti-tank rounds. These include three rockets that are fired from RPG-7 launchers, two of which have greater armor-piercing capability.103 Human Rights Watch understands that about half of the anti-tank weapons included in the consignment from Iran were of a sophisticated type able to penetrate battle tanks with reactive armor.104
More than two years after the Iranian munitions were seized, they remained impounded, and many questions continued to surround the case. Government officials are reluctant to provide details about the attempted shipment before they have completed their criminal investigation, and some of the companies that were party to the transaction have been similarly tight-lipped.105 In other cases, officials and companies responded to Human Rights Watch’s requests for information, and their responses are reflected below.
The information available at this time is not conclusive, but it provides a glimpse into how arms brokers and other intermediaries, often working in tandem with the governments that use their services, organize complex arms deliveries that, by their nature, are difficult to unravel. The complexity and secrecy surrounding such arms transfers, and the absence of sufficient checks to verify that cargo is properly declared, can provide opportunities for deceptive practices to mask the real nature and destination of weapons shipments. With respect to the seized Iranian cargo, this case offers intriguing signals that point to deception, which may be employed to shield a particularly sensitive arms deal from scrutiny, whether to cover up weapons smuggling or disguise a covert arms deal or perhaps for a more innocent reason. The case also usefully illustrates the potential for abuse inherent in a major loophole in Slovak law: currently no license is required for weapons shipments that transit via Slovakia.
The Ilyushin-76 from Iran landed at 6:53 p. m. and unloaded its cargo for transfer onto another plane.106 It departed at 8:39 pm, bound for Copenhagen.107 The Iranian plane, registration number EP-CFB (formerly listed as EP-SFA), is one of two registered to Chabahar Air.108 It was operated by a Ukrainian crew and had flown from Iran to Saudi Arabia before making its stop in Slovakia.109 Chabahar Air is a division of the Chabahar Free-Trade Zone of Iran,110 which is state-owned.111 Chabahar Air did not respond to a request for comment.112
A second aircraft, registered in Ukraine, was at Bratislava waiting to pick up the munitions cargo.113 It was an Antonov-12, registration number UR-UCK, owned by Ukrainian Cargo Airways (UCA).114 The government of Ukraine owns the airline,115 which specializes in arms transport116 and carries out many other transport contracts.117 Slovak authorities prevented the UCA plane from onloading the cargo from the Iranian shipment, but allowed the plane to depart the following day.118
With the assistance of the Ukrainian authorities and Ukrainian Cargo Airways, Human Rights Watch established that the aircraft carried additional military cargo to Angola. Cargo was collected on departure from Ukraine, as well as during stops in Slovakia and Israel. With respect to transport arrangements, the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense indicated that “[t]he plane was freighted for carrying the cargo by [the] company LR Avionics Technologies Ltd.”119 UCA similarly stated: “It was LR Avionics Technologies Ltd, who made the transportation arrangements for the cargo.”120
The airline, stating that it had no information about the Iranian cargo, added: “UCA had no information in advance about the composition of the cargo to be loaded in Bratislava,” and noted that no Iranian cargo was in fact onloaded at Bratislava.121 LR Avionics Technologies, Ltd., based in Herzliya, Israel, strongly denied any involvement in the attempted shipment of Iranian munitions, stating: “[O]ur company was not involved in the transaction of Anti-tank rockets.”122 LR Avionics denied press allegations it had made efforts to secure the release of the seized anti-tank munitions held in Slovakia.123 Human Rights Watch was informed that, soon after the Iranian cargo was impounded, someone who said he represented the government of Angola intervened privately to seek its release.124
A number of different companies were involved in this convoluted attempted shipment of Iranian munitions. The exporter of the anti-tank rounds that were impounded in Bratislava was Modlex Export Center, an Iranian state-owned company.125 After the cargo was detained, Modlex provided an invoice indicating that the cargo was for the Angolan Ministry of Defense.126 This document, which Human Rights Watch reviewed, misidentified the cargo as 400 pieces of 40 mm rocket-propelled grenades.127 The actual quantity was considerably more, 504 pieces.128 The Iranian Ministry of Defense did not respond to a Human Rights Watch request for comment regarding Modlex.129
The Bratislava daily Pravda has alleged that Slovtrans Air, a Bratislava-based company, played a role with respect to the Iranian munitions,130 although the person who asserted this connection later cast doubt on her original account. The owner of Slovtrans Air, Mohamad Ahmad Saad, declined to speak about the case on the record.131 His wife, Mrs. Dobroslava Saad (Saadova in Slovak), however, offered the following account to Pravda:
Mrs. Saad stated that the goods were accurately declared as military equipment when flight permissions were requested: “The Transport Ministry knew about this; everyone knew. Such transport requires a large number of authorizations, which we had to obtain in advance. Our aircraft legally landed in Israel, even at a military airport, which requires the Israeli Government’s approval.”133
Mrs. Saad, contacted by Human Rights Watch, clarified that she does not serve Slovtrans Air in any official capacity. When asked by email about the reported role of Slovtrans Air in this case and another transaction with which the company had been publicly linked (described further below), she said: “I can barely recall any of the thing [sic] you mentioned in your message, and I am surprised of its allegations.” She added, “None of what you mentioned was chartered by Slovtrans Air.”134
Suspicion about the Iranian arms shipment has persisted, and it is difficult to reconcile a number of elements of the case. First, no adequate explanation has been given for the false information filed for the Iranian cargo in Bratislava. A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior confirmed that the customs declaration was filled out for “different material, not arms.”135 Moreover, Human Rights Watch understands that the air waybill shown to customs officials listed “general cargo,” and that cargo codes provided when requesting flight permissions were also misleading.136
Moreover, although the Angolan media has reported on the seizure of the anti-tank munitions in Slovakia, at no point has the government of Angola publicly acknowledged that it owns the Iranian consignment. As of April 2002, the government of Angola had not replied to an official Slovak request made in October 2001 for clarification as to whether it was the end user.137 It also failed to respond to a December 2002 request for comment from Human Rights Watch.
The nature of the munitions also raises questions about their intended deployment. RPGs are flexible weapons that can be fired against targets other than tanks, and they are commonly deployed to provide fire support for light infantry. The impact of anti-tank munitions in African conflicts, which are mostly marked by small arms fire and where tanks are rarely if ever used, is to provide greater explosive power to the troops wielding them, and to therefore enhance their potential to destroy targets of all types. This has been the case in the conflicts in which Angola has been involved. In the Angolan civil war and the regional conflict in DRC, RPGs were fired against buildings, houses, and other civilian structures.138
Information that the Iranian munitions were to have been transshipped to Angola via Israel, at a military airport, and combined with Israeli cargo is also of interest. Israel has accused Iran of smuggling arms to the Palestinian Authority, and the United States, with which Slovakia and especially Israel have forged close ties, has branded Iran a “state sponsor of terrorism.” That stigma carried particular weight in the wake of the attacks in the United States, which took place two weeks before this arms delivery was attempted. The incongruity of arms links between Iran and Israel suggests the possibility that this may have represented a covert weapons shipment.139
The complex transport arrangements also raise doubts and hint that they were designed to avoid scrutiny of the shipment. A wish to avoid exposing the Iranian connection, for example, could explain why a second plane was used to deliver the cargo, as well as why it was routed through an Israeli military airport.
The arrangements also appear to defy financial logic. By itself, the small consignment of signal flares for export from Slovakia would not justify the chartering of a plane to stop in Bratislava. Human Rights Watch was able to establish that the Ukrainian plane was carrying other cargo (see below), and that it intended to collect more cargo on its way to its final destination. Were that not the case, it would have made more sense for the Iranian plane to deliver all the cargo to Angola.
Flight records for the UCA plane show that it departed from Gostomel airport near Kiev, Ukraine, and flew direct to Bratislava, then on to Luanda, the Angolan capital, via Ovda, a military airport in Israel, with intermediate stops in Egypt and Tanzania. The aircraft returned from Angola to Ukraine via Sudan.140
As emphasized by the airline and the Ukrainian government, the government of Angola is not subject to an international embargo. They also stated that the cargo delivery was made in accordance with relevant national export controls and international civil aviation rules.141 They noted that they had received no complaints from any party regarding this transaction prior to being contacted by Human Rights Watch.142 The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense added that its investigation into the matter concluded that “[the] flight route, nature of cargo and time parameters were completely legitimate,” and that “in this case [the] air company was dealing only as a carrier of the cargo.”143 Both the airline and the Ukrainian government identified the company that made the transport arrangements for the cargo UCA delivered to Angola (see above).144
The information regarding the UCA delivery to Angola nevertheless is of interest as it relates to the intended delivery route of the Iranian munitions. It also helps illustrate the complex transport arrangements made for weapons deliveries, the many players involved in one weapons shipment, and the absence of transparency about such transactions. Moreover, media reports suggest that there were some discrepancies regarding cargo declarations at one of the stops. Finally, as will be discussed in the third case study in this report, Angola’s dismal human rights record makes it an inappropriate weapons client.
Flight records show that the UCA aircraft departed Gostomel on September 29, 2001, at 4:17 pm, carrying commercial cargo weighing 2479 kilograms.145 Ukrainian authorities and UCA informed Human Rights Watch that the cargo consisted of “aircraft spare parts.”146 They further clarified that this cargo was authorized to be exported by the state-owned Ukrainian arms export company Ukrspetsexport to the government of Angola.147 Neither the Ukrainian government nor the airline specified the type of aircraft for which spare parts were supplied, but the fact that the sale was made by an arms-export firm and received export authorization, as required for military equipment, indicates that it was for military aircraft. A Ukrainian official independently informed Human Rights Watch that, to his knowledge, the spare parts were for a military aircraft.148
The UCA plane arrived in Bratislava at 6:27 pm, as noted, and was allowed to leave the following day, September 30, 2001. It departed at 12:27 pm that day, according to the flight records, having onloaded sixteen kilograms of additional commercial cargo.149 This was a small consignment of signal flares.150 The goods had been sold by the Slovak company Hermes and authorized for export to Angola.151
The next and final pick-up was at Ovda, Israel, where the UCA plane landed at 3:27 pm on September 30, 2001.152 There, 2500 kilograms of commercial cargo were onloaded.153 This cargo was identified as “impedimenta.”154 The UCA plane departed from Ovda at 1:02 pm on October 1, 2001. From Ovda the UCA plane traveled to Aswan, Egypt, to refuel,155 landing at 2:42 pm and departing at 2:15 the following morning.156
Divergent accounts have emerged regarding what happened on the plane’s next stop, in Mwanza, by Lake Victoria in Tanzania, where flight records indicate it landed at 8:40 am on October 2, 2001, and left at 2:10 pm the next day. Media report from Tanzania said that officials at the airport temporarily halted the UCA plane, registration number UR-UCK, shortly after it landed at Mwanza, on suspicion that it was carrying undeclared weapons cargo.157 The aircraft was allowed to leave, but some months later a Tanzanian official stated that authorities had indeed discovered undeclared weapons cargo aboard and added that they had only released the plane on orders of top Tanzanian security officials.158
A different account was offered in the Ukrainian press, which quoted a representative of Ukrainian Cargo Airways as denying that the plane was carrying weapons and instead saying that it only had transport equipment on board.159 The airline representative reportedly acknowledged that the plane had certain problems in Tanzania, but challenged reports that the crew was detained for questioning.160
When approached by Human Rights Watch, UCA stated: “The aircraft made [a] technical stop in Mwanza for refueling and crew rest. There [was] no information relating to aircraft detention by Tanzanian authorities. The flight schedule was undisturbed.”161 The Ukrainian authorities responded similarly, adding that they had not been contacted by the Tanzanian authorities in connection with this flight.162 Despite being asked, neither party addressed the fact that the military cargo was reportedly characterized by the airline at the time as transport equipment.
On its arrival in Luanda, according to UCA, “all the cargo declared for delivery was unloaded and handed over to representatives of the Government of Angola. ”163 Flight records show that the plane landed in Luanda at 7:05 pm on October 3, 2001.164 They do not indicate the time of its departure, with an empty cargo hold, from Luanda to Khartoum, where the UCA plane stopped at 2:40 pm October 4, 2001, and stayed until 4:55 am the next morning, at which point it departed for Borispol airport in Kiev, where it arrived at 12:10 pm on October 5, 2001.165
As of March 2003, the Slovak criminal investigation remained open. No one had been charged and there had been no new developments in the case for at least one year. Slovak authorities pointed to poor international cooperation as a reason for the slow progress of their investigation. In addition, there was a break in the continuity of the investigation: the police investigator responsible for this investigation left and his replacement had not yet studied the extensive case file. The same situation emerged in the Liberia case above. The turnover among police investigators, seemingly driven by a sense they were overworked and underpaid, only made more difficult the challenge of prosecuting wrongdoers in arms trafficking cases.166
101 See, for example, “Police seize illegal ammunition shipment at Bratislava’s airport,” Associated Press, October 1, 2001; “Slovak police investigating illegal arms cargo seized at airport,” Reuters, October 2, 2001, supplemented by Human Rights Watch telephone interview with a Slovak diplomat, February 13, 2002. While some media reports refer to the Iranian airline as Chabahar Airlines, it appears in an industry listing as Chabahar Air. See JP Airline-Fleets International, 2002/03 edition, (Zurich: Bucher & Co., Publikationen, 2002), p. 138.
102 Human Rights Watch interview with a person familiar with the case, who requested anonymity, Bratislava, April 2001. This person is close to Slovakia’s Interior Ministry, Economy Ministry, and General Prosecutor’s Office, and is referred to hereafter as “Iran Source.”
103 Jane’s Infantry Weapons 2002-2003, (Jane’s Information Group: Surrey, 2002), pp. 411-412; Jane’s Infantry Weapons 1998-1999, (Jane’s Information Group: Surrey, 1999) p. 348.
104 Human Rights Watch interview with Iran Source, Bratislava, April 2001.
106 “Slovakia: Both flights involved in missile delivery were commercial flights,” TASR News Agency, via BBC Monitoring, October 1, 2001. The article attributes the information by name to a spokesperson from the Slovak Airports Administration.
108 JP Airline-Fleets International, 2002/03 edition, p. 138.
109 Human Rights Watch interview with Iran Source, Bratislava, April 2001. For this transaction the plane was insured by a company in Russia, with additional insurance provided by a company in the UAE. Ibid.
110 JP Airline-Fleets International, 2002/03 edition, p. 138.
111 According to its website, the Chabahar Free Trade Zone has autonomous legal status but its capital belongs to the Iranian government, which appoints its board of directors and its managing director. See http://www.chabaharfz.com (retrieved December 19, 2002).
112 The request was made on December 20, 2002.
113 Flight records for UR-UCK, provided by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense and Ukrainian Cargo Airways, September and October 2001, copy on file with Human Rights Watch. These show that the plane landed at 6:27 pm.
114 The name of the Ukrainian airline was featured in press reports that drew on information provided by Slovak officials. The registration number of the plane in question was provided anonymously by a source in Slovakia and verified by the Ukrainian authorities and the airline. See also, JP Airline-Fleets International, 2002/03 edition, p. 617.
115 “Ukrainian Cargo Airways Multimedia Presentation,” CD-ROM, undated but apparently from early 2002.
116 “Ukrainian Cargo Airways Multimedia Presentation,” CD-ROM; Website of Ukrainian Cargo Airways, at http://www.avia-uca.com.ua/about.html (retrieved July 22, 2002).
117 The company has been contracted to provide transportation services in support of U.N. peacekeeping operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (since 1999), Kosovo (since 2000), Sierra Leone (2000-2001), and Lebanon (since 2000), as well as to deliver relief goods. “Ukrainian Cargo Airways Multimedia Presentation,” CD-ROM. The company also is active in military transport in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC, the former Zaire). Human Rights Watch interview with Victor Hvozd, military advisor, Ukrainian Mission to the United Nations, January 9, 2003. In a May 2003 accident during the transport of several dozen Congolese troops, the rear door of a UCA aircraft opened and an unknown number of passengers fell to their deaths. “IL-76 ACCIDENT – BBC,” Interfax Ukrainian News, May 13, 2003.
118 See, for example, Ed Holt, “Angola-bound weapons impounded in Bratislava,” Slovak Spectator, October 8-14, 2001.
119 Letter from State Secretary Victor I. Bannykh, Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, to Human Rights Watch, dated January 30, 2003.
120 Letter from Andrey Kukin, Ukrainian Cargo Airways, to Human Rights Watch, dated January 29, 2003.
121 Ibid. The Ukrainian government response repeated UCA’s position, stating: “UCA has no information about any Iranian cargo (munitions) you mentioned.” Letter from Ukrainian State Secretary Victor I. Bannykh to Human Rights Watch, dated January 30, 2003.
122 Email correspondence from Roy Ben Yami, Joint General Manager, L.R. Avionics Technologies Ltd., December 31, 2002.
123 Ibid. The article containing the allegation is “Daily Examines Circumstances of Iranian Weapons Detained at Bratislava Airport,” Pravda (Bratislava) via WNC, October 2, 2001.
124 Human Rights Watch interviews with two people familiar with the case, Bratislava, April 2001. These interviews were conducted separately, and on different dates, without informing either source of what the other told us.
125 Modlex invoice, reviewed by Human Rights Watch researchers in April 2002; Human Rights Watch interview with Iran Source, Bratislava, April 2001. The Modlex invoice indicated that the cargo was for the Angolan Ministry of Defense. Modlex invoice, reviewed by Human Rights Watch researchers in April 2002. Media reports have linked Modlex to a Belgian arms dealer, Jacques Monsieur, who in December 2002 was convicted by a Belgian court for fraud, money laundering, and illegal arms trafficking, and was facing an indictment in France. Regarding his reported ties to Modlex (spelled Modelex in the articles), see, for example, Alain Lallemand, “Arms and money: Tehran investigates,” Le Soir, June 21, 2001; “Belgian Weekly Reports on Alleged Smuggler Victor Bout,” Le Vif/L’Express (Brussels), via WNC, March 2, 2002; International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, “The Field Marshal,” chapter in Making a Killing: The Business of War (Center for Public Integrity: Washington, 2003). The spelling of the company’s name (Modlex, as used here) is available at, among others, “Iran Exporters Directory,” entry for military industry, at http://www.iranexporters.org/asp/military.asp (retrieved October 30, 2002).
126 Modlex invoice, reviewed by Human Rights Watch researchers in April 2002.
127 Ibid; Human Rights Watch interview with Iran Source, Bratislava, April 2001.
128 Human Rights Watch interview with Iran Source, Bratislava, April 2001; and Human Rights Watch interview with Josef Luteran and Lubomir Skuhra, Customs Directorate, April 12, 2002.
129 The request was made in a December 20, 2002, letter.
130 “Daily Examines Circumstances…,” Pravda. The article alleges that the company “arranged the transport of the goods from Iran via Slovak territory to Israel and then to Angola.” Ibid.
131 Human Rights Watch contacted Mr. Saad on April 15, 16, and 24, 2002.
132 “Daily Examines Circumstances…,” Pravda.
134 Email communication from Mrs. Dobroslava Saad, dated January 27, 2003.
135 “Slovak police investigating illegal arms cargo..,,” Reuters.
136 The cargo code listed corresponded to general military wares, a category that would accurately cover uniforms, for example, but not munitions. Human Rights Watch interview with Iran Source, Bratislava, April 2001. Munitions are subject to special rules governing the transport of hazardous materials. For example, under international civil aviation rules, special over-flight permission is required to carry an explosive cargo. Explosive cargo also should be declared as such on the cargo document known as an air waybill.
137 Human Rights Watch interviews with two people familiar with the case, Bratislava, April 2001. Subsequent inquiries by Human Rights Watch in September and October 2002 resulted in no new information.
138 Human Rights Watch, “Uganda in Eastern DRC: Fueling Political and Ethnic Strife,” A Human Rights Watch Short Report, March 2001; Human Rights Watch, Angola Unravels: The Rise and Fall of the Lusaka Peace Process, (New York: Human Rights Watch, 1999). Angola also had troops in the Republic of Congo, where they served as a stabilization force.
139 A covert Iran-Israel arms connection is known to have surfaced in the 1980s, in what was exposed as the Iran-Contra scandal, involving U.S. supplies of arms to Nicaraguan rebels and an arms-for-hostages deal with Iran.
140 Flight records, September and October 2001, copy on file with Human Rights Watch.
141 Letter from Andrey Kukin, Ukrainian Cargo Airways, to Human Rights Watch, dated January 4, 2003; letter from Ukrainian State Secretary Victor I. Bannykh to Human Rights Watch, dated January 8, 2003.
143 The quotes appear, respectively, in the letter from Ukrainian State Secretary Victor I. Bannykh to Human Rights Watch, dated January 8, 2003, and letter from Ukrainian State Secretary Victor I. Bannykh to Human Rights Watch, dated January 30, 2003.
144 Letter from Andrey Kukin, Ukrainian Cargo Airways, to Human Rights Watch, dated January 29, 2003; letter from Ukrainian State Secretary Victor I. Bannykh to Human Rights Watch, dated January 30, 2003.
145 Flight records, September and October 2001, copy on file with Human Rights Watch. Regarding the plane’s departure from Gostomel, see also “Slovakia: Both flights involved…,” TASR News Agency. Gostomel was cited by the U.N. as a point of origin for an arms flight in July 2000. The cargo, delivered to Cote d’Ivoire, was re-exported aboard another plane to Liberia. Report of the U.N. Panel of Experts on Liberia, paras. 208-210.
146 Letter from Andrey Kukin, Ukrainian Cargo Airways, to Human Rights Watch, dated January 4, 2003; letter from Ukrainian State Secretary Victor I. Bannykh to Human Rights Watch, dated January 8, 2003.
147 Letter from Andrey Kukin, Ukrainian Cargo Airways, to Human Rights Watch, dated January 29, 2003; letter from Ukrainian State Secretary Victor I. Bannykh to Human Rights Watch, dated January 30, 2003.
148 Human Rights Watch interview with Victor Hvozd, Ukrainian Mission to the United Nations, January 9, 2003.
149 Flight records, September and October 2001, copy on file with Human Rights Watch.
150 Letter from Ukrainian State Secretary Victor I. Bannykh to Human Rights Watch, dated January 30, 2003. The cargo was described in some media reports as signal rockets. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably, since what distinguishes signal flares and signal rockets (their size and delivery method) is considered of minor significance.
151 “Daily Examines Circumstances…,” Pravda; “Weapons Deals: State has few reasons not to approve,” Slovak Spectator, October 8-14, 2001.
152 Flight records, September and October 2001, copy on file with Human Rights Watch.
154 Letter from Ukrainian State Secretary Victor I. Bannykh to Human Rights Watch, dated January 8, 2003
156 Flight records, September and October 2001, copy on file with Human Rights Watch.
157 “Plane Carrying Arms Detained at Tanzanian Airport,” Xinhua News Agency (Beijing), October 3, 2001; “Arms-carrying Ukrainian plane detained in north,” Guardian (Dar-es-Salaam) via BBC Monitoring, October 3, 2001; “Tanzania Releases Arms-Carrying Ukraine Plane,” Xinhua News Agency, October 3, 2001; “Suspected Ukrainian arms plane released,” Guardian (Dar-es-Salaam) via BBC Monitoring, October 4, 2001.
158 “Dar Officials Accused of Abetting Arms Racket,” East African/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX, June 24, 2002. A similar statement was made at the time by the Mwanza Regional Commissioner, who said “We have received instructions from Dar es Salaam [Tanzania’s capital] to release the plane.” “Tanzania Releases Arms-Carrying Ukraine Plane,” Xinhua News Agency.
159 “Ukrainian Plane Suspected of Smuggling Weapons to Angola Grounded in Tanzania,” Infobank (Lvov), October 3, 2001; and “Ukrainian airline says no arms on board plane reportedly detained in Tanzania,” STB TV(Kiev) via BBC Monitoring, October 3, 2001.
160 “Ukrainian airline says no arms on board...,” STB TV.
161 Letter from Andrey Kukin, Ukrainian Cargo Airways, to Human Rights Watch, dated January 29, 2003.
162 Letter from Ukrainian State Secretary Victor I. Bannykh to Human Rights Watch, dated January 30, 2003.
163 Letter from Andrey Kukin, Ukrainian Cargo Airways, to Human Rights Watch, dated January 29, 2003. In his response, Ukrainian State Secretary Victor I. Bannykh similarly indicated that Ukrainian authorities had established that “the final landing and unloading of the UCA plane” took place at Luanda. Letter to Human Rights Watch, dated January 30, 2003.
164 Flight records, September and October 2001, copy on file with Human Rights Watch.
166 Human Rights Watch interview with Jozef Chroncok, regional office of the judicial police (Bratislava), and Milos Jadud, Interior Ministry, Bratislava, March 7, 2003. The case was opened on suspicion that Section 124c of the Slovak criminal code had been violated. Ibid.