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Title: AFP: Spanish air controllers refuse to answer prosecutors
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AFP: Spanish air controllers refuse to answer prosecutors: "Air traffic controllers who shut down Spain's airspace in a 24-hour wil...
AFP: Spanish air controllers refuse to answer prosecutors: "Air traffic controllers who shut down Spain's airspace in a 24-hour wildcat strike refused Thursday to answer prosecutors investigating possible sedition.
Prosecutors are investigating air traffic controllers' actions after they called in sick en masse December 3, hitting the flights of an estimated 300,000 travellers on a holiday weekend.
Spain's government forced them to return to work the next day by declaring a 15-day state of alert, putting the military in command and threatening jail for those who refused.
It was the first state of alert in Spain since the 1975 death of dictator General Francisco Franco.
They could face jail terms of up to eight years if charged and convicted of sedition for collectively abandoning their posts, an action the government has compared to doctors leaving a hospital.
The first 12 controllers to go before prosecutors Thursday refused to testify at a Madrid provincial court, arguing they should be heard by a military court because the military was in charge, Madrid public prosecutor Eduardo Esteban said.
The public prosecutor said a military court had nothing to do with the case, however, because the charges related to events that took place before the state of alert was declared."

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