Update in relation to investigation into death of Emiliano Sala

11 March 2020
Detectives investigating the death of professional footballer Emiliano Sala have confirmed that Dorset Police will be taking no further action against a man arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act.

On Monday 21 January 2019 a plane carrying Mr Sala and pilot David Ibbotson was flying from Nantes to Cardiff when it lost contact with Air Traffic Control, north of Guernsey.

Mr Sala’s body was brought to Portland Port in Dorset on Thursday 7 February 2019 and detectives from Dorset Police began carrying out enquiries into the circumstances of the death on behalf of HM Coroner.  These enquiries included investigating the circumstances in an effort to establish whether there was evidence of third party culpability as a result of Mr Sala’s death.

Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “We have carried out a detailed examination into the circumstances of Mr Sala’s death, this has been a complex investigation involving the examination of a large amount of evidence and in liaison with a range of organisations.

“We have worked closely with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) during our investigation and we are now able to confirm that Dorset Police will not be seeking a formal charging decision by the CPS in relation to homicide offences.”

As a result, a 64-year-old man from North Yorkshire who was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act on Wednesday 19 June 2019, will not be the subject of further action with regard to that offence.

Detective Inspector Huxter added: “An investigation into the operation of the flight continues and this is being led by the CAA and therefore it would be inappropriate for us to make any further comment at this time.

“We have updated the family of Mr Sala and Mr Ibbotson with regard to this development and it goes without saying that our thoughts remain with them, as a result of their unimaginable loss.

“Dorset Police will continue to support the investigation being carried out by the CAA and carry out enquiries on behalf of HM Coroner as part of the inquest process in the hope that the answers that the families of both men seek are provided, which is nothing short of what they thoroughly deserve.”
 
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