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tv   The Situation Room  CNN  March 27, 2015 2:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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extras. you can also subscribe to the magazine on flipboard. that's it for "the lead." i'm john berman in for jake tapper. i turn you over to wolf blitzer in "the situation room." happening now, unfit to work. investigators find ripped-up medical leave notes in the co-pilot's apartment including one for the day he crashed an airliner into the alps. what illness was he hiding and how did he keep the airline in the dark? co-pilot's mind. what could have motivated a young man with a love of flying living his dream of being a pilot to set the auto pilot for a collision with a mountain? cameras in the cockpit. investigators are basing their findings on audio recordings but wouldn't it make sense to have visual evidence of what was actually going on inside the cockpit? why not install cameras? and a proxy war. the u.s. is helping to fight pro-iran forces in one country but it's fighting alongside pro-iran forces in another
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country. who stands to gain? i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." stunning new details tonight about the co-pilot who prosecutors say intentionally crashed an airliner into the french alps killing everyone on board. based on evidence taken from the co-pilot's home officials now say he had an illness that he concealed from the airline and that he had been declared quote, unfit to work by a doctor. ripped-up medical leave notes were found, including one for the day of the doomed flight. the "wall street journal" cites a source as saying the co-pilot was being treated for depression by a psychiatrist and cites another source as saying he did not have a terminal illness. as the grim recovery work continues on the french mountainside where the plane disintegrated, german airlines are now taking steps to prevent the kind of deliberate cockpit lockout that happened aboard flight 9525. they are now mandating that two
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crew members must always be inside the cockpit. our correspondents analysts and guests are all standing by with the late-breaking developments. let's begin with our senior international correspondent, nic robertson. he is joining us from right near the crash scene. nic? >> reporter: we are learning tonight that investigators here are bringing in biometric equipment, special biometric equipment, to measure and read the fingerprints of the victims that they are bringing off the mountain here. the big news of the day coming in germany as police raided an apartment lived in by andreas lubitz finding in there medical records torn up discarded by him. important new evidence seized from the apartment of flight 9525 co-pilot andreas lubitz including a doctor's medical leave note for the day that the crash occurred.
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>> we have found a letter that indicated that he was declared by a medical doctor unfit to work. >> reporter: the prosecutor's office says the doctor's notes were discovered torn up in the trash. >> so we have reason to believe that he hid his illness from the company he was working for. >> reporter: tonight, germanwings airline says it did not receive any sick note for lubitz on the day of the crash. investigators aren't saying if he was diagnosed with psychological or physical problems but he appears to have received some kind of treatment by a doctor for a period of time. officials at university medical center in dusseldorf say lubitz was a patient as recently as march 10th. they won't say why, because of patient confidentiality, but they are denying reports he was
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treated for depression. police are digging for more clues at lubitz's apartment and his parents' home. they haven't found a suicide note or any evidence he had political or religious motive to kill himself and the 149 other people on board. as more victims' relatives gather near the remote mountain crash site to confront the horror of what happened germanwings parent company lufthansa announced it's changing its rules to now require two crew members in the cockpit at all times. prosecutors say lubitz locked the captain out of the cockpit before he intentionally brought down the plane. the captain of the crash recovery operation tells cnn that searchers have found bodies but very few of them are intact. bad weather and dangerous terrain are slowing efforts to locate victims' remains as well as the plane's second black box and the additional clues it may
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hold. we are learning here that there will be only two of what have been until now five helicopters flying each day, two only flying saturday but some progress in identifying the 150 people aboard that flight so far. we are told investigators have now identified 16 different people through dna analysis. wolf? >> sad, sad story indeed. nic, thank you. let's get a closer look at the backgrounds of the co-pilot background of the co-pilot andreas lubitz. cnn's will ripley is joining us now live. he's just outside the apartment in dusseldorf germany, where he was living. what do we know about this co-pilot, will? >> reporter: well we know from neighbors and from people who encountered him in this quiet neighborhood about 20 minutes from the town center that he by all accounts at least on the outside appeared to lead a normal life. his apartment continues to be an epicenter of police activity.
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just tonight we saw prosecutors and investigators bringing out more evidence after they brought out evidence earlier in the day, including those medical records that nic was talking about in his report. but tonight, within the last hour we also got a brand new piece of information from a pizza shop owner in this neighborhood who says that lubitz and a woman that he believes was his girlfriend were very frequent customers who were affectionate who were coming in all the time but then two months ago, it suddenly stopped. here's how he described their behavior. you saw andreas lubitz and who you believe was his girlfriend. you say they came in here a lot. what were they like? >> translator: he was very nice polite friendly. came in once or twice a week. he often came with his girlfriend arm in arm. when i heard the news i thought no this couldn't be him. >> reporter: but again, wolf two months ago after they were coming in regularly getting
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pizza together arm in arm, it all suddenly stopped. keep in mind the clinic the medical clinic here in dusseldorf says that it was around two months ago in february that this 27-year-old went in to seek treatment and then returned on march 10th for a diagnosis for some type of illness. now, the clinic denies that it was depression that this young man was being treated for but the timing stopped making appearances with his girlfriend then started receiving treatment and of course this horrible tragedy, all of these are pieces that the investigators are putting together right now. wolf? >> very very sensitive mission they are undertaking. thanks very much will ripley for that report. we will get back to you. the "wall street journal" has been reporting beyond what the authorities in germany are saying publicly. the "wall street journal" reporter william boston is joining us on the phone right now from berlin. you are learning some new information about the pilot, andreas lubitz. tell us what you are hearing. >> reporter: hi wolf. thanks for having me on the program.
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what i have been hearing from sources i spoke to today is that the documents that the police and investigators found in mr. lubitz's apartment draw a picture that show that he has been in medical treatment for some time that he has been treated for psychological problems and that he has not informed his employer germanwings or lufthansa, about this situation. >> what kind of psychological problems are you learning? >> reporter: well this is where it gets a little murky because it's not legal for most of these people to be disclosing this kind of confidential information about his medical treatments. you know people have spoken about depression and psychological issues but have not been very specific about exactly what he was being treated for. >> that hospital in dusseldorf
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that clinic he was treated there recently they are specifically saying that he wasn't being treated for depression but you are hearing from others that he was being treated for depression, is that right? >> reporter: well there are two issues there. one is that sources tell me that he was seeing another doctor not just at this hospital another doctor somewhere in rhineland. they won't be more specific than that. and people close to the investigation are skeptical about the statement from the hospital. they believe the hospital is trying to deflect attention away from itself rather than really be up front with what mr. lubitz was there for. >> i know given the sensitivities of your reporting and the laws in germany, you can't tell us who your sources are, but are they suggesting he was also on certain medication? >> reporter: i was told that he was taking medication but it was
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not sort of mind or mood-altering medication that would have impeded him from operating an airplane. so the reason this is important is the investigators do not believe that the decisions that he made inside the cockpit are the result of medication but rather this was -- these were decisions that he made consciously. >> the other reporting we have heard, you just heard from will ripley our reporter who was there in dusseldorf that there's the possibility that maybe he and this girlfriend had broken up, that could have caused some depression. are you hearing anything along those lines? >> reporter: this is one of the big question marks. what we have been trying to do is to establish his state of mind and there are lots of factors that could play into that. the girlfriend and his personal relationships, that is one of those and i have not gotten into
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that as much as into the medical issues so far. give me time. >> i read your report in the "wall street journal." you wrote that his medical certification was renewed back in july of last year. what goes into a certification like that? >> reporter: well what's interesting is what doesn't go into it because it doesn't seem that there's a psychological test involved. they are tested for stress and a physical test to make sure that they can perform their jobs but it doesn't appear that they go through a very rigorous psychological examination. that may be one of the real weak points in that process. >> but you are reporting that he has been -- he was being treated by a psychiatrist, right? >> reporter: yeah. it appears that it's a neuro psychologist. >> neuropsychologist, not a psychiatrist. in other words, not an m.d. a
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ph.d. >> reporter: not in the freudian sense of down on the couch talking about his childhood but more it looks like there were some medical issues that were perhaps a biomedical issue involved. like i said it's a little difficult to get into too much detail because sources are not providing as much detail as we would like to know. you know, there's -- >> go ahead. >> reporter: i just wanted to say that there's enough information that is being shared with us to determine that he was suffering from depression. he was in treatment and he did not tell his employer about it. >> william boston of the "wall street journal" thanks very much for joining us. that's the reporting from the "wall street journal." we have not here at cnn confirmed that he was in fact being treated for depression but we are working our sources
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as well. let's get some analysis of what we just did hear. joining us our aviation analyst, former national transportation safety board managing director peter goelz, our law enforcement analyst tom fuentes, former fbi assistant director alistair rosenshine former airline pilot joining us from london and the clinical psychologist ruth wintersgreen who is with us in washington. i will start with you. what's your analysis of what we just heard from william boston of the "wall street journal"? >> if i can take a moment i would like to say to colleagues i worked with previously in germany -- [ speaking a foreign language ] >> great sympathy for their losses. speaking as a psychologist the situation seems to become more clear in some ways but less clear in others. we are hearing about a neuropsychologist so there are a multitude of possibilities. one of the things that came to
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my mind was perhaps he was diagnosed with something along the lines of multiple sclerosis. >> what did you say? >> multiple sclerosis or epilepsy or had tbi, traumatic brain injury something that would impair his work and made him lose the ability to do this career that he obviously had really worked hard. >> because if he was just suffering from depression that would not necessarily cause someone to go ahead and not only kill himself but kill 149 other people. >> well i think the important thing to say is very very few people even significantly depressed would do something along these lines. as a clinical psychologist my strongest impression is that there is something organic or something really wrong with the brain when this level happens, particularly with an adult. sometimes teenagers as we see in school shootings and so forth
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have the disinhibition but something along these lines, my impulse is to point to something that's physically changed in the brain in some severe way and then the anger is disinhibited. >> i know you are a psychologist and you served in the united states air force and you have worked extensively with pilots over the years who were under obviously under normal circumstances, a lot of stress to begin with. please everyone stand by. we will take a quick break. we have a lot more to dissect. new information coming in on what's going on. stay with us.
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our breaking news prosecutors now say the co-pilot
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of flight 9525 was declared unfit to work by a doctor and concealed that information from his airline, ripping up medical leave notes. reuters is now quoting a report from germany's newspaper that internal documents forwarded by lufthansa's medical center reported that the co-pilot had suffered what's described as a serious depressive episode back in 2009. we are back with our experts. peter, this report saying back in 2009 he took time off from his pilot training and reuters quoting the newspaper saying he was in psychiatric treatment for over a year. i assume lufthansa executives would know about that don't you think? >> you would think they would. there are a number of things that would disqualify somebody from continuing training certainly substance abuse and some sort of ongoing depression might very well disqualify them from becoming a pilot. a commercial pilot. >> what do you think about that, tom? >> i agree. if he was not able to continue
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training then that tells you right there he can't do everything he's supposed to be doing, much less get back in the cockpit, fly a plane later. >> alistair you are a pilot, retired now, but you spent many years as a commercial airline pilot. are these pilots they are under enormous stress as we all know to begin with but if they are suffering from some sort of psychological problems very often they are afraid to even be treated for it because they think potentially that could be a career ender, is that right? >> well yes. you are quite right. i wouldn't say they are under tremendous stresses. the stresses occur when they are going on a trip and they may have had a bust-up with their wife or girlfriend or if it's a female pilot, with her husband or boyfriend. those can increase your stress levels dramatically. being upset, this was a short haul pilot, he may have had psychiatric problems. what we do know is the suicide rates amongst pilots are not totally dissimilar from the rest
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of the population. the question here is what sort of mindset causes someone in this case possibly this pilot to commit suicide and take a lot of people with them. that is something which is quite unusual. fortunately, extremely rare. but this is a question better addressed by psychiatrists. from a pilot's point of view if you notice your colleagues are not acting normally maybe they are going through a divorce and they get a bit tearful on a night stop some where or even during the flight as i have seen on two occasions, then you report it. but one's colleagues are a little bit reticent to report their friends, fellow pilots because it does mean they are grounded and they suffer a pay penalty. >> they may suffer losing their job potentially as well. i want you to stand by. everyone stand by. in a moment we are going live to germany where investigators are removing boxes of new evidence from the co-pilot's home. plus the crash investigation sparking new calls for cameras inside the cockpits
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of every airliner. stay with us.
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>> reporter: well tonight at least six investigators visited andreas lubitz's apartment. they were in there for about an hour and a half. they brought out a big box full of documents, more evidence. we know that so far, authorities say a suicide note hasn't been found or anything indicating he did anything for religious or political reasons, but they did say they found a crucial clue inside his apartment. tonight,german investigators search the co-pilot's apartment bringing out more boxes of evidence. they left without saying a word to reporters. we know inside 27-year-old andreas lubitz's apartment, investigators discovered thursday torn-up medical leave notes in his trash can, including one for the exact day authorities say lubitz deliberately crashed flight 9525 into the french alps. >> we have found a letter that indicated that he was declared by a medical doctor unfit to
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work. >> reporter: tonight, germanwings says it never received a sick note from lubitz for the day of the flight. the german prosecutor's office says it appears lubitz was trying to keep his condition a secret. >> we have reason to believe that he hid his illness from the company he was working for. >> reporter: german authorities would not say if the illness was physical or a mental health issue. a university clinic in dusseldorf says lubitz visited as recently as march 10th and regards to the explanation of a diagnosis, but denied media reports he was being treated for depression there. those who knew lubitz seen here running a marathon in 2013 tells cnn he didn't let on anything was wrong. >> he was for me a very healthy guy. he doesn't smoke. i can't imagine that he was medically ill, depressed and
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sad. he doesn't seem like it so i was shocked when i hear that. >> reporter: lubitz's medical history and what germanwings and parent company lufthansa knew about it now will play an important role in the investigation. >> translator: every pilot learns during his training and i always say as an aviation doctor if there is anything wrong with you please contact me please do not hide physical or psychological illnesses. >> reporter: it is still unclear why exactly lubitz took time off for training back in 2008 at a facility in arizona. the lufthansa ceo wouldn't comment on that. he only said that he went back finished his training and was 100% fit to fly. still, a lot of questions here. >> certainly are. we are presumably going to be getting more answers fairly soon. pamela, thanks very much. joining us right now, once again, our aviation analyst, former ntsb managing director peter goelz, our aviation analyst miles o'brien and
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alistair rosenshine aviation consultant former airline pilot. also the aviation journalist clive irving contributor to the daily beast. peter, how common or uncommon is it for a pilot to be deemed unfit to fly or to work? >> well you mean -- are you asking where he declares himself unfit or -- >> no a doctor declares him unfit to work. >> it is not all that common. the question is if a doctor did that was he under obligation to tell anyone else or was this simply a diagnosis or a decision given to the patient and the patient was under the obligation to bring it to his employer. >> let me ask alistair. are the pilots themselves required to report that the doctor says you're unfit to work? are they required to say if they are taking any medication specifically and should the doctors be required to alert the employers, the airline companies, you know what you have a pilot who's got some
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serious issues? >> well, of course they have to report it. i have in fact been in that position myself. you immediately report anything that might affect your flying taking any medication and also any mental health issues physical issues. that is essential. it's also very important that general practitioners, gps, your own doctor should report any problems that you have directly to the aeromedical department of their aviation authority, be it the federal aviation authority, the joint aviation authority or civil aviation authority, whichever one is in force in the country you work in. obviously this hasn't happened in this case. questions will be asked about that. but you know pilots need to be calm and collected and they have to have their heads straight. they have to concentrate on their work. if there's anything impeding that then they have to report it.
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that's the responsible thing to do. >> how do you encourage these pilots to self-report, especially if they are suffering from some sort of mental as opposed to physical ailment? >> i think the thing that's important here is that you have an honor system where self-reporting is encouraged is mandated but it's a two-way street. the airlines themselves have to be willing to protect this asset of theirs their pilots. what we have seen since deregulation is constant stress on the pilots. the airlines demanding of them taking things back from them making their work situation more and more difficult. this airline, germanwings, in 2014 had all kinds of labor strife based around a series of give-backs that management insisted upon. as long as you treat your pilots this way, in this adversarial climate, they will be reluctant to do the right thing. >> clive, i want you to weigh in
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on these sensitive issues. i say this because you have written some really powerful strong articles in the daily beast and one we will get into in a little while about robot pilots, if you will. go ahead and weigh in. >> well i think it's very -- it's a very uneven and patchwork system across europe and across the united states and in other markets. i think that if you rely on self-reporting or peer reporting, that's not going to be very effective and i think that what this incident has shown is how difficult it is. anyone who seems to have known this chap never picked up anything and we see that it's much harder to detect a bomb in the brain than it is to detect a bomb in a suitcase or pair of underpants. this was really it's fair to call it a bomb because it's a long way from the kind of depression that they are talking about, clinical depression it's a long way from a clinical depression to taking an action as drastic as this one, not just to kill yourself but to kill 149
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people and destroy the plane. we do know this man was a flying enthusiast very early on. he qualified in his teens and just one wonders, i'm not a psychiatrist but one wonders about some kind of dark trauma inside him which realized he got to the point he realized perhaps he was not able to fly and possibly would never fly again and lose the career he dreamed of and then something cracked at that point. >> that's a lot of suspicion out there along those lines. everyone stand by. we have much more information coming in including how cameras in the airliner cockpits could make it easier to solve the mystery of this crash and others. also breaking now, new air strikes in iraq and yemen. new questions on whose side the united states is on whether it's actually helping iran. hello. i am here to offer sophisticated investing strategies. my technology can help you choose the right portfolio.
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story. brian? >> tonight, safety experts are calling for cameras to be installed in cockpits. a mechanical eye inside the cockpit they say could deter pilots from reckless behavior capture any potential threats and help investigators after a crash. a key question tonight, could a camera have made any difference in the germanwings crash? andreas lubitz had locked himself alone in the cockpit as the captain pounded on the door. tonight, safety experts are calling for a bold move to avoid another disaster. cameras in the cockpit. >> the cameras would not be on the face of either of the pilot or the co-pilot. they would focus on the instruments and on the manipulations that are made. >> reporter: former ntsb chairman jim hall says cameras in the cockpit would be a deterrent to bad behavior and careless piloting and would be a key investigative tool. what could cameras trained on the control panel detect? >> you could see the instruments, what they are seeing on their instrument
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panels on their screens. you can see what they are doing with their hands. >> reporter: cameras on the instruments wouldn't necessarily give investigators much help in the germanwings crash probe. they already know how that plane went down technically. but former commercial pilot lynn spencer says cameras trained on pilots' faces could catch certain moments that cockpit voice and flight data recorders might miss. >> was the pilot choking. is the pilot having a seizure. >> reporter: the technology's already on the market. but one manufacturer told us no airlines have bought their cameras. cameras are already used to monitor key missions like today's launch to the international space station. they are used to watch some train operators, taxi drivers, and bus drivers, including this one, caught looking at his phone, then crashing. cockpit video could even be live streamed back to controllers on the ground in realtime although the expense of installing and streaming thousands of live cameras could be prohibitive. spencer says cockpit cameras could have provided key evidence in some of the most infamous
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disasters in aviation including 9/11. >> if we had had cameras in the cockpits on 9/11 we would have been able to see how the hijackers took over the cockpit. how they killed the pilots. how they tried to manipulate the controls. >> reporter: the top pilots union in america is staunchly against the idea. in a statement to cnn, it says cockpit video quote, is subject to misinterpretation and may in fact lead investigators away from accurate conclusions. pilots union officials are also worried about a video leaking. they say voice data recorder clips have become public in past cases, especially overseas and no pilot wants their final moments to be posted all over the internet. as one pilot famously said i don't want my spouse children and grandchildren and a million strangers to be able to watch me die. wolf? >> brian, stand by. we are getting some breaking news on a decision involving the amanda knox trial in rome. stand by. we will take a quick break and
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we've got breaking news. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer in washington. judges at italy's supreme court, they have just announced their verdict as far as a potential retrial of amanda -- american amanda knox in the murder of her one-time roommate, meredith kircher. what's the verdict? >> reporter: well the high court decided to overturn the murder convictions and we had assumed that would come with an automatic retrial at the appellate level again but we understand from the court, what they read today, is they are throwing it out entirely. there will not be a retrial. amanda knox and her boyfriend rafael sollecito are free it's over and justice as far as the italian court system has ruled is done at this point. the case is over. >> a complete victory for amanda
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knox and her former boyfriend, rafael sollecito. is this a big surprise over there? >> reporter: it is a big surprise because -- especially because we had understood from all the precedents that if they overturned this conviction there would be another appellate trial. that's how this generally works. it is not the normal procedure for the supreme court in italy to just simply annul a verdict and not send it back to the appellate level. so that is a surprise. i think they just found too much reasonable doubt in terms of all of these verdicts the acquittal, the conviction the throwing out of the acquittal, throwing out of the conviction all of these back and forths for the last eight years, there has been too much reasonable doubt. we will know in about 45 days when the court issues their reasoning exactly why they chose to do this but it took them hours and hours more than we anticipated to deliberate this
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decision and it certainly comes down to the fact this case has gone through so many different levels and so many different outcomes. >> amanda knox completely vindicated completely free at this point, no longer has to worry about possible extradition to italy. the court there deciding she is clearly not guilty. what was the mood like in the courtroom? >> reporter: well, there's a lot of tension. of course nobody was here. rafael sollecito, who was here this morning, had decided to go back to his home. he wasn't there so we didn't have any of the key players there. it was just lawyers and journalists. but we expected a verdict about five hours ago, that's what we had been told. every hour that lingered that the five judges that were deliberating stayed in the chambers certainly meant the case was -- it's complicated and it shows how complicated this case was. there is obviously a lot of back and forth. again, their motivation is
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really a clear picture of what they found wrong in this case. amanda knox obviously can breathe a sigh of relief. this case over for her, she is a free woman, she is free. rafael sollecito would have been the one to go to jail first had they upheld the conviction. >> she spent time in prison over there. she potentially could go back to italy if she wants to. stand by. i want to bring in our senior legal analyst, jeffrey toobin. just to remind our viewers what was going on back in december 2009 she was found guilty of murder sexual assault, slander, sentenced to 26 years in prison. two years later, 2011 the court threw out the convictions of her and her former boyfriend, declaring them innocent of murder freeing them immediately immediately. in 2013 italy's highest court vacated that acquittal and said she has to stand trial once again. january 2014 the court
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reaffirmed the initial 2009 murder sexual assault convictions. now the supreme court of italy says they are overturning that conviction. she and her former boyfriend, rafael sollecito, they are free. it's a sort of complicated system they've got over there. double jeopardy triple jeopardy. it's a very different system in italy than they have here in the united states. >> it's not only a different system of how many levels but it's different in that at each step there is a kind of trial. here we have one trial and then there are appeals based on the paper record. but in those trials they had new evidence at each stage of the process, but the result now really is the final result. amanda knox is no longer under any threat of imprisonment or extradition or anything like that. and perhaps more importantly, rafael would be in jail tonight if the verdict came out another way. he is also free to go.
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if the supreme court in italy had gone the other way and upheld the conviction was the united states which has extradition treaty agreements with italy, was the united states bound to force her to go back to italy, surnling she had ingassuming she had been convicted of murder. >> that would have turned this into a ten-year legal saga if not longer. we have an extradition. it covers homicide. but there are also provisions that say, if someone has been subjected to double jeopardy they do not have to be extradited. her lawyers would have argued to the state department which handles extradition, that this would have amounted to double jeopardy because of all these trials. also if the state department had ruled against her, there would have been the possibility that she could have gone to court for what's a rit. it was a possibility for
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extradition but it would have been years of legal fighting. now it's over. >> the double jeopardy issue is major as far as the u.s. she had been acquitted and then on appeal she would have been convicted. in the u.s. once you are acquitted, you are acquitted. in italy, they have a different legal system. what was the mood in italy among the italian public? did they think she was guilty or innocent? >> you know i think it's -- it goes back and forth. it's divided here. they have an italian here. they have are cheering for the home boy. they are not as concerned with amanda knox. i think one of the big concerns though was always going to be if they had upheld this conviction whether or not amanda knox had come back. actually let's take up with step back. there's another person in jail for this crime, an ivory coast
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native convicted in 2008 right away in a fast track trial. he is serving a 16-year sentence reduced on appeal. he is in jail. he is nearing the halfway point of his jail term. if amanda knox had been convicted and found culpable of the murder, i think it would have been a huge injustice that the americans would be the one that would be left free. we should note that she still does have one charge against her. she's found guilty of slandering a man she falsely accused under an interrogation of the murder. that conviction still holds. she served her time for that. she served four years. those years are what the court last year decided she should serve. she owns him 45,000 euro in damages for that. that's one -- the detail i
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suppose she's got to work out. that conviction still holds. obviously, there's no time to serve for that. there's damages to pay. it will be interesting to see how that aspect is played out of the story. >> you have been covering this from the beginning. let's remind our viewers that amanda knox who is now 27 years old, she's from seattle. back in 2009 she was convicted of killing her roommate. they shared an apartment in the italian university town. myrrh meredith's family do they believe she was guilty she was involved in the murder of their daughter? >> yes, absolutely, they do. they believed in the first conviction. in fact their lawyer who was present today is disappointed. though don't believe that rudy acted alone. they have said last week that they hoped that if the high
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court upholds the conviction they would bring amanda knox to italy to serve her time. it's a very troubling time for them. now that the case is over perhaps they too, can find closure, sort of move forward. the case is over. they have had to live through the eight years of court cases and battles in which man daamandahmannmanda overshadowed their daughter. their pain in no way over. but at least this case is over. they wouldn't have to watch another court case. whether they are happy or not with the verdict, i'm sure for them at least maybe they can start the long process it must be for them to actually be able to move on from this horrific thing. >> just to recap, the supreme court of italy has overturned the earlier decision to convict amanda knox in the murder of meredith.
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amanda and her former boyfriend, they are now free. they are -- this case as far as they are concerned, is now over. more on this story coming up later. there's other breaking news we're following here in "the situation room." we are getting new clues right now in the flight -- in the flight 9525 crash investigation as more evidence is removed from the home of the co-pilot. what illness was he hiding from the airline? why did a doctor declare him unfit to work? more of the breaking news when we come back. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance. everybody knows that parker. well... did you know auctioneers make bad grocery store clerks? that'll be $23.50. now .75, 23.75, hold 'em. hey now do i hear 23.75? 24! hey 24 dollar, 24 and a quarter, quarter now half, 24 and a half and .75! 25! now a quarter, hey 26 and a quarter, do you wanna pay now, you wanna do it, 25 and a quarter- -sold to the man in the khaki jacket! geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance.
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happening now, co-pilot's secret. new details on the medical
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condition andreas lubitz kept hidden from his bosses. why wasn't he grounded? new dangers at the crash site. why it could take weeks to recover victims and find the missing black box. remote control. new calls to explore pilotless planes using drone technology. would that prevent crashes like this one or lead to new disasters? verdict overturned. italy's supreme court releases a stunning new verdict, declaring the case is closed. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you are in "the situation room." stand by for more on the breaking news,ed amanda knox murder verdict overturned. she's free. another breaking story. more evidence seized a short while ago from the home of the
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co-pilot andreas lubitz as investigators dig into the illness he withheld from the airline. a doctor declared him unfit to work on the day he is believed to have crashed on purpose. the nature of the medical condition is unclear. tonight, the"the wall street journal" reports he was suffering depression citing a source who says he was being treated by a psychiatrist. our correspondents and analysts are standing by to explore all the latest breaking angles of this story. first, let's go to our aviation correspondent rene marsh. >> reporter: another shocking revelation about the pilot who deliberately brought down germanwings 9525. a prosecutors says did he not leave a suicide note and no indications of political or religious motivation. but investigators did make some alarming discoveries, evidence
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inside his home suggests he should not have been flying that plane. new video tonight shows investigators hauling boxes of evidence from the apartment of an andreas lubitz. a prosecutor says he kept a medical condition a secret. an unknown illness that could have grounded him and potentially kept him off tuesday's deadly flight. >> we have found a letter that indicated that he was declared by a medical doctor unfit to work. so we have reason to believe that he hid his illness. >> reporter: medical leave notes were found ripped in the apartment, parent apartment, apparently never delivered to his employer. authorities have not stated publically whether lubitz's illness was physical or related
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to mental health issues. he was treated for depression and was excused from work by a neuropsychologist for a period of time including the day of the crash. >> he has been in medical treatment for some time that he has been treated for psychological problems and that he has not informed his employer germanwings or lufthansa about the situation. >> to withhold information like that is actually grievous offense. there are fines that are associated with that. >> reporter: this woman is an faa certified aviation doctor who tests pilots for airworthiness. she said there's no perfect way to identify a pilot who is at risk and periodic psychological testing is no silver bullet. >> if you are tested one day and the next week something happens, how do you pick that up? there's no way to monitor an
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airman 24 hours a day, seven days a week. >> reporter: in the u.s. a pilot must get a checkup from an faa approved physician every six months. if a pilot is unfit to fly, the doctor must notify the government. in both the united states and europe pilots are grounded for a month for observation when receiving treatment from depression. if treatment is successful pilots can fly while taking certain antidepressants. while pilots are allowed under certain circumstances to fly when taking antidepressants, there are a set of medical disorders that can disqualify someone from flying that includes schizophrenia, bipolar disorder. if someone is suicidal and actually attempts to kill themselves there's a lot more to learn about the man friends say appeared normal. oblg of course they are looking into financial and personal background. >> thank you. another new report out
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tonight about lubitz and his mental health. they say he suffered a serious depressive episode around the time he suspended his pilot training in 2009 and spent a year -- a year under psychiatric treatment. for more on the investigation, let's go to will ripley outside lubitz's apartment in germany. what are you learning? >> reporter: tonight, wolf, we know the investigation continues to focus on this apartment and specifically what evidence may lie inside. just a short time ago, within the last few hours, we saw those investigators bringing out an additional box full of documents. this is after they had swarmed the apartment earlier in the day retrieving among other things those torn up doctor notes in the trash can that indicated that lubitz was receiving some sort of medical treatment for what was described publically as
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an illness. now more and more reports seem to be putting the spotlight on the possibility of some sort of a medical condition. neighbors, people who knew lubitz are telling us that physically, he appeared fine. he was healthy. he was a marathon runner. he was seen running in the trails around the neighborhood. no indication of anything physically wrong. but there was a change in his behavior. listen to what a local pizza shop owner described when he used to go to his business with his girlfriend regularly. then all of a sudden it stopped. you saw lubitz and who you believe was his girlfriend. they came in here a lot. what were they like? >> translator: he was very nice polite friendly. came in once or twice a week. he often came with his girlfriend arm in arm. when i heard the news, i thought, no, this couldn't be him. >> reporter: you heard him say he came once or twice a week. but then about two months ago he says he stopped coming.
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in the meanwhile, there was a medical clinic here in town that said it started treating lubitz in february about the same time that he stopped showing up at the pizza place. they treated him in february. he came back in march for some sort of a diagnosis. they say it wasn't depression. investigators here at the apartment trying to put together whatever pieces they can to figure out what was going on in this young man's mind that caused him to do something so horrible that ended up costing 150 lives. >> thanks very much will. we will get back to you. i want to go to the crash site. more victims' families have gathered nearby. our senior international correspondent nick robertson is joining us. he is in this remote area in southern france. what's it like over there, nick? >> reporter: wolf the helicopters stopped working. it's night, so they lifted the crews out of that mountain area.
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you probably can't hear it, but i can, are the generators of the temporary headquarters. behind that is the dna labs where the police and the recovery teams are bringing the victims of the crash and then they are working on them in the lab there to determine who each person is. so far, we're told they have identified 16 different victims. there had been more family members coming here today to visit the memorial that's the closest location that french authorities can get them to the crash site. we have been learning that the authorities, when the families come here are taking dna samples from the families to help them speed up the identification of their loved ones. also the authorities here are bringing in some biometric equipment, fingerprint analysis equipment. again, this is all designed to help identify the victims that they are bringing off the
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hillside. a traumatic task for the recovery workers. none of them have been trained for this. this is a gruesome and difficult scene for them. >> what are they saying over there, nick? do they expect to be able to identify all 150 bodies? >> reporter: no. no one here has been as bold to say that at the moment wolf. the description that we are given by the people who are actually there on the mountainside and have seen -- witnessed, you know what's happened there, they do say that there are very very few bodies that are fully intact the aircraft itself broke apart completely. they say, really that is the nature of the victims that they are finding very badly broken apart. they say they are determined to bring all and everything of the victims from the hillside that
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they can gather. clearly, in a situation like this some of that fine detail and determination in these conditions may be very tough. >> that plane smashed into the french alps at 400 miles an hour. you can only imagine what was happening at that moment. nick we will get back to you as well. i want to bring in peter goelz, david soucie tom fuentes and allister rosenstein. let's talk about the voice recorder. >> the massive intensity of this accident might lead that they will not find it if it came apart. it's not 100% invulnerable to the destructive forces of an accident of this magnitude. they do a good job. they survive tremendous pressures.
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but, boy, it would not surprise me if they did not get it all back. >> usually, they're in the tail the back of the plane. this plane smashed head on into the mountain. >> that's right. they're located in the tail. with the understanding that if the plane is crashing head first, that the energy will be somewhat dissipated by the time it reached the tail and that the boxes would be given a greater chance -- >> based on all the information they have released so far, how important is the information on the flight data recorder? >> i think it's important, wolf. but it's not critical like in many of the cases that we investigate. i think in this situation, they have a very good idea of what happened and how that plane ended up being flown into the mountain who did it. now it's just trying to determine why if they can. >> david, how dangerous is that crash site right now? how difficult will this recovery effort now under way for a few days be for those search crews?
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>> wolf i'm very concerned. you look at this -- i know in their exuberance they are out there. it's getting hot. they are working very hard. it's a temptation to take off your protective gear. remember we're talking about a lot of -- i don't flowknow how else to put it but human remains and debris. so a cut, which normally would just be healed is life-threatening in these sites. have i i have done mountain climbing things where you get cut on the rocks and become susceptible to this debris. it's dangerous. we need to really really give these guys all the credit for what they're going through right now, emotionally and physically putting themselves in harm's way. >> you were a pilot for a long time. a letter was found from a medical doctor declaring lubitz
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the co-pilot unfit to work. it's up to the co-pilot to report that to the airline, isn't it? >> not only report it but take himself off the flight. you know from my experience flying i've known pilots to go to work when they weren't 100% fit. sometimes because there was a financial penalty in not going to work. those sort of things have to be removed. if a pilot is unwell he shouldn't suffer a financial penalty by going sick because after all, we want to encourage them to take the time off work. it's dangerous flying when you are not well. in this case it sounds very much like a deliberate act to go to work when you were unwell. the fact that there were a number of medical notes torn up is -- i believe that to be quite exceptional. you know we go back to what i said before. any doctor knowing they are treating a pilot, somebody in a safety critical industry is
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also duty bound to report this to the airline or at least the medical authorities. you know it goes beyond patient confidentiality. let's get something straight here. the medical records of this pilot will be made known. it will be in the accident report sooner or later. so we will find out whether or not there was something special here. the point is can we avoid this happening again? the straight answer is no we can't. >> stand by. we will take a quick break. much more. new information coming in. state with us. many people clean their dentures with toothpaste or plain water. and even though their dentures look clean, in reality they're not. if a denture were to be put under a microscope we can see all the bacteria that still exists on the denture and that bacteria multiplies very rapidly. that's why dentists recommend cleaning with polident everyday. polident's unique micro clean formula works in just 3 minutes, killing 99.99% of odor causing bacteria.
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we're back with our aviation experts and news that a doctor declared the co-pilot unfit to work. they say he brought the plane down with all 150 people on board. peter, reuters is reporting that lufthansa offered financial assistance to the families of the passengers who wee killed 50,000 euros, almost $100,000. you have worked with families in a situation like this. do they take the money? if they take the money, do they forego any opportunity to file lawsuits to collect more money? >> this is standard procedure now, particularly with the european carriers. the u.s. carriers are a little slower to follow this. this money is -- there are no strings attached. it's meant to help to resolve any financial difficulties they may have. if the head of household is gone it's free and clear of any
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knew future liability settlements that may come. it's an act to make amends. >> a good point. the german police they left his apartment, lubitz's apartment with boxes of papers and evidence. if you had been involved in this investigation, what would you have been looking for? >> you would want to take his computers for further analysis any phone records, any documentation of his medical visits prescription medicine prescriptions in paper form whether torn up or not. you would want to get a history of his mental condition and his physical condition, for that matter and any other records that relate to personal relationships. is there something that happened with a girlfriend boyfriend, parent neighbor co-worker, supervisor at work any number of things? you want to know as much as possible. >> no evidence of terrorism or link to anything along those lines, anything along those lines. but they would be looking to make sure. >> sure. >> david soucie as you know,
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the airlines are now scrambling to tighten the cockpit rules requiring two crew members to be in the cockpit at all times. in this post 9/11 era, why wasn't that put in place before? >> well the chief said the reason it wasn't put in before and the reason that the united states has it installed, is because the purpose of the flight attendant in his estimation, not many minein mine is that originally they didn't have cameras in the aircraft. when they put the door in. the purpose of them was to verify the identity of someone outside the door through the peep hole so that the pilot remaining didn't have to get up and look out the door. while this is true they didn't have cameras at the first. the second thing is that they eventually did install cameras. yet they retained that procedure of keeping the second person in the cockpit. his argument is that when they implemented it in europe the carriers that had cameras didn't
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feel the need to add that second person in the cockpit before. now, clearly, they need to. >> how secure are those cockpit doors? can you break through them? let's say you have an ax. >> look with determined effort and with enough time probably yes. one doesn't like to comment too much on security issues. you know if a pilot on the flight deck is determined to do it then there's no way you would get that door open in time to prevent an accident. as i said just before can we stop this happening again? the answer is no, we can't. but we can reduce the risk with proper medical checking and by having another person on the flight deck. a determined pilot who wants to do -- who wants to crash the aircraft can always do that.
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their job is to spend their time trying to avoid crashing the aircraft. if they want to do the opposite it's a really straightforward thing to do. no that cockpit door cannot be opened that quickly. >> it certainly is reinforced steel, whatever it is. i don't think an ax will do much. there are people who say as a result of what we know happened in this particular crash, maybe the investigators of the mh-370 should look at the pilot or co-pilot in that mysterious disappearance. there's no black boxes no pieces of wreckage. >> i think it's a good argument. our team at cnn, we have been working throughout thel alal alalnalgorithm.
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now it may rate higher because of the fact there might have been something we overlooked when we did the analysis. i would suspect after this -- we will go back and look again that that probability will rise to the top or at least rise up from where it is now. >> what do you think? >> i think they ought to go back and look. you cannot have had a missing 777 and not -- give up the search. you have to go back with a fresh set of eyes and look at every piece of evidence. you have to focus on the crew. >> stand by. we have more coming up. we will explore one potential way to prevent pilots from crashing jets. would it help if they were remotely controlled? we are looking at the possibility and dangers. the technology is there right now. more new information surfacing about lubitz the co-pilot and his mental health. we will talk about that. the rules about when pilots should be declared unfit to fly.
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we're back with breaking news. the co-pilot of flight 9525 declared unfit to work by a doctor on the day officials say he crashed the plane. a german prosecutor says lubitz
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hid his illness from the airline. tonight, new reports here in the united states and in germany that he had suffered from depression. a university clinic in dusseldorf visited by lubitz denies it treated him for that condition. pamela brown is joining us now live from dusseldorf with more. what are you learning? >> reporter: i can tell you, investigators digging into his background. they have been in and out of his apartment right behind me here. they walked out with a big box of evidence. a lot of documents in that box. they continue to investigate. we know what they have and haven't found. they haven't found a suicide note or anything showing that he did anything for religious or political reasons. authorities say, it has been a crucial clue torn up medical notes in his trash bin. notes from a doctor excusing him from work even on the day that
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authorities say he crashed that plane, flight 9525 into the french alps. tonight, germanwings says it never received a sick note. authorities are not saying whether lubitz's illness was physical or related to mental health issues. we do know that lubitz was being treated for depression and was excused from work by a neuropsychologyist for a period of time including the day of the crash. cnn has not been able to confirm that. a university clinic here in dusseldorf where he apparently visit ed visited as recently as march 10th according to a statement. the clinic makes it clear he was not treated for depression there. this illness remains a bit of a mystery. we're still trying to learn what it's all about. we know in 2008 he took time off from training. he was at a facility in phoenix,
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arizona. right now will you have tanlufthansa is not saying why that is. only saying he was fit to fly and it had no reason to believe otherwise. >> pamela, i'm sure we will learn more in the coming hours and days. thank you. the crash of flight 9525 is sparking renewed interest in an idea that could potentially could prevent similar catastrophes. planes piloted from the ground. tom foreman is looking into this part of the story for us. this is pretty amazing technology. >> reporter: it really is. boeing has a patent. google conducted a test flight. they are looking at this idea of flying planes from the ground because they believe that can prevent terrorism it can prevent criminal acts and maybe it could have stopped what happened in the alps. watch closely. this plane over england has a crew at the controls passengers in the back but something extraordinary is about to
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happen. a pilot on the ground is taking over. >> ready to take control. >> proceed. >> i have control. >> you have control. >> reporter: this is the $94 million project by the british aerospace company bae, one of several efforts around the world to develop planes that can be flown remotely. >> what you can hear is the discussion with air traffic that's the same as the pilots would be having if they were in charge of the steering. >> reporter: military success with drones has driven much of the interest. some efforts are focused on airplanes in hazardous conditions such as hurricane research and wildfires. analysts say pilotless planes could be a $400 billion a year global business. why not passenger flights? first, the airline industry has a remarkable safety record despite high-profile disasters. many believe onboard pilots remain the most reliable way to
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handle problems and retrofitting planes would cost billions of dollars. second passengers may not be ready. robert goyer is with "flying" magazine. >> how i would feel without pilots? i wouldn't do it. >> reporter: there are still questions about reliability. what happens if one of the planes gets loose from the electronic tether? just as importantly, what if terror i haves take over a ground station? in that fashion they take control. one possible solution to all of that would be to have numerous ground stations that have to work in tandem with the flight. even then what if a hacker interrupts the dadta stream and get controls? all of those questions have to be answered. even though some planes are landing and taking out basically on robotics. the idea of controlling planes from the ground may be a secret to security in the future.
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but it's one that many industry analysts is not ready yet. >> could be a failsafe if a pilot or both for example, have heart attacks or die or lose cabin pressure. maybe they could bring that plane to a safe landing just remotely that technology clearly exists. tom foreman, thanks very much. let's talk more about flight 9525 the crash and the illness that the co-pilot apparently hid from the airline. joining us now lisa van sausteren and miles o'brien as well. when you hear this notion that this doctor told this co-pilot you are unfit to work what is the responsible of the doctor in this particular case to the flying public out there, presumably he knew this guy was a pilot, and to the airline?
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>> well the fact is that there are a lot of communication issues going on here that led to what happened. we don't know what that illness is. we don't know if he was excused, if he was declared unfit. what exactly it was the doctor saw. clearly, there is a ball that was dropped. the fact someone shouldn't be flying should be communicated to the airline and that didn't happen. >> you are a forensic psychiatrist psychiatrist. if you have a patient who is a pilot and you determine something is wrong and that guy is supposed to go fly, what do do you? >> absolutely you are compelled -- there are many precedents legal precedents. one is a famous decision where if you believe someone is in danger of hurting someone else you are compelled ethically -- >> even though the confidentiality? >> you can break confidentiality when you know someone else is in danger. >> let's talk legally speaking right now.
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does a psychiatrist from your perspective have any room to break that patient confidentiality and report someone who may be a danger to the public? >> yeah luckily in the u.s. we have doctor/patient privilege or confidentiality. when that patient who is being treated is purported to maybe be a risk of bodily injury or death to someone else the doctor here has a duty to report it. now in germany under the law, that's not the case. in germany, the doctor has discretion to report it. they can break that confidentiality. but it's up to their discretion and they have to duty. that can be a problem. the doctor has to determine this is a situation where it's drastic enough where have i to report report it. the doctor didn't feel it was drastic enough. >> i guess so. reuters is reporting, citing
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internal documents forwarded by lufthansa's medical center to german authorities that lubitz suffered a serious depressive episode around the time he was suspended as -- in his pilot training in 2009. it said he subsequently spent over a year in psychiatric treatment. is that enough to prevent him from becoming a pilot? >> well obviously not. clearly not. one has to be compassionate here. people do suffer mental illnesses from time to time. this is a safety critical industry. one has to consider that as more important than in other industries. this is not unusual. in my experience i have known pilots to be grounded for depression and then to recover and to go back to work. of course, it does put you in a high risk group and would require monitoring. >> it certainly would. miles, let me get your thoughts
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on the psychological pressures the pilots are under, especially we're told the pilots who fly for the low-cost carriers. they fly so many segments. talk about that. >> it's a really tough job, wolf. and the starting pay is low in the united states. it's a little better in europe. you have pilots who are in a really adversarial environment with the airline management. this has been going on for years since deregulation in the late '70s and early '80s. pilots have been constantly forced to give back economically have had to change work rules that have made it harder to get good crew rest. they are under siege. so in that environment, it should come as no surprise to us that they are at a breaking point. they are very reluctant to come
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forward with problems to a management that has had sort of an aggressive stance toward them. i think the airlines need to stop and look at their most important asset. it's not the airplanes. it's the people in the two front seats that are at the controls. they should treat them as the asset they are. >> you are absolutely right. thanks very much. for more information by the way on this crash and ways that you can help those affected by air disasters everywhere you can visit another story we're following. a new statement from amanda knox on the overturning of the murder verdict against her in italy. stay with us.
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breaking news from rome. the supreme court overturned the murder conviction of amanda knox. in a statement just in to "the situation room," amanda knox writes this i am tremendously relieved and grateful for the decision of the supreme court of italy. the knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal and throughout this ordeal i have
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received invaluable support from family friends and strangers. she concludes by saying to them i say thank you from the bottom of my heart. that statement from amanda knox. let's bring in barbie nadeaux. she's joining us from rome. tell us how this went down. >> reporter: it was a day of heavy anticipation as five judges deliberated for hours and hours about five hours more than we expected them to come down with a verdict that really no one expected in the sense that we understood they would uphold the conviction or they could send it back for a retrial. for them to throw out the conviction the high court is not how it's generally done. it wasn't in the list of options that we thought was going. what it does more than anything is underscore the complexity of the case and how the case went from acquittal to conviction to acquittal to conviction.
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the high court thought i guess, fine enough is enough. let's stop the case where it is. there's just simply too much reasonable doubt to try to get -- to try to uphold any conviction on this case. we did speak to amanda knox's lawyer shortly the verdict after he had talked to amanda. let's listen to what he said. >> for amanda this has been a nightmare for her. we finally got the right decision. we always thought this was the only decision possible the acquittal from day one. we knew that it was coming. >> reporter: what is amanda going to do? do you think she will come to italy? >> she loves italy. she wants to come back. she never had any revenge about what happened. she has been through a nightmare. i think right now she has to stay with the family and try to recover. >> reporter: she's obviously clearly relieved. we spoke to also the lawyers for
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raffaele sollecito who is in tears of joy over the fact he is a free man. he would have gone to jail tonight had the conviction been upheld. >> and it by. i want to bring in jeffrey toobin. there was a possibility, had the supreme court gone the other way, that the u.s. would have been forced to extradite her back to italy. >> that's true. there is an extradition treaty between italy and the united states. it does cover homicide. amanda knox and her lawyers would have had options in fighting extradition. they might have won. it would have meant many months perhaps years, of fighting over that issue. there was no guarantee that she would have won. she might have been shipped back. now all that is moot. she's free forever. >> it's totally over for her. she can move on. the notion to visit italy -- she spent four years in prison there after she was arrested and charged with murdering her former roommate. >> there's an outstanding fine
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potentially against her. i think there are lots of interesting countries in the world to visit. i think she should pick some other country besides italy to go. >> i don't think she's going to be rushing back to italy. i'm sure she had good members before all of this went down. it's over right now. she can -- everyone can move on. the case is over with. i know that the family of the young woman, her roommate who was killed they still believe she was guilty. right? >> reporter: absolutely right. her lawyer said after the course they were shocked by the decision. the family of meredith kercher has been stoic in their group. they haven't given interviews. very very few. they have always believed in their lawyer. they have -- their lawyerall three involved in the murder of their daughter and their sister.
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they have a lot to process tonight. they have a lot to process in the coming days. for them this must be just a sense of closure. at least they can move on. they have been really in and out of a roller coaster of the court cases they have been in and out of these court cases and gone eight different lawyers. eight times he's been in court. >> just ahead, the co-pilots illness. raiser of blood pressure. disrupter of supply chains. stealer of bedtime stories. polluter. frustrater. time thief.
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that server cleatly clean. cnn chris investigations tell us precisely what is new right now. what happened? >> what is new, wolf, is that as you said, they wiped the server completely clean. this is the server that hillary clinton used as secretary of state. it was a personal server but she did government business. the committee investigating has asked her to turn it over. they want to look at it and make sure she's turned over the e-mails that has to do with benghazi. she's told them he has erased
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the server. >> she said she had 62,000 e-mails. half of which she handed over to the state department. she said they were personal involving her daughters wedding or whatever stuff like that. now, you're learning that all of those 32,000 other e-mails are completely gone. they can't be restored? >> exactly. that has the republicans in congress quite upset. they field like there should be an inspect arbitor. the big question is if they don't exist, how will they move forward? >> do we know if there's no possibility of retrieving them? >> the chairman says we don't know exactly. it happened sometimes after she turned those e-mails over to the state department.
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now there's no way to go back and check. did she turn over the officials e-mails that she should have. >> did she print out copyies? did she have boxes of some of the copyies? >> she printed out copies to the state department. what about other stuff? >> it's unclear if she has any paper documents at this point. she's not going to turn over her server. >> they could subpoena those if she's got boxes full of documents. stand by. >> important to note she did not turn over any new documents either. that was requested. >> good point. standby. there's another story that's unfolding. major power shift in the u.s. senate. harry reid announced he's retiring. he's already endorsed the successor to be the top democrat. dana bash has been working this story. pretty dramatic.
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>> it is. i'm told he made this decision three months ago christmastime. he told the staff he wanted to sit on it and make sure it was the right thing to do. when he suffered a bad eye injury it cemented his decision that it was time to go. he made his surprise announcement via twitter with this highly produced video. >> i'm not going to run for election. >> reporter: the 75-year-old who would be 83 at the end of his next term privately told friends he didn't want to be one of those senator who is stays too long which really hit home after being injured in an exercise accident. >> this accident is caused us for the first time to have a little down time. >> reporter: for a former boxer the decision wasn't easy.
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for ten years he's been the senate democratic leader for the majority and the minority. today obama surprised reid by calling into his npr interview. >> he's been one of my best partners and best friends. harry is unique. he's got that charm. it's hard to replace. >> reporter: some of that charm is his candor that gets him in trouble like calling george w. bush a loser and a liar or this. >> obama care has been the law for four years. why don't they get a life and talk about something else. >> reporter: that scrappy style helped him overcome an impoveri
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impoverished childhood. he forged close relationships behind the scenes. like with new york's chuck schumer who reid quickly endorsed by passing his own second in command. >> he said this is the most you ever made your bed. >> just for you. >> reporter: roommate for decades in the notorious alpha house. >> at this point it looks certain that chuck will be the next democratic leader. he's been making calls all day and feels he's got it pretty much locked up. >> almost two years he remains on the job. not going to seek re-election. dana will be back sunday morning hosting state of the union 9:00 a.m. eastern and noon eastern. this is a cnn exclusive. you can follow us on twitter. tweet me at wolf blitzer.
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tweet the show. join us again monday right here in "the situation room." you can watch us live or dvr the show so you won't miss a moment. thanks for watching. have a great weekend. erin burnett outfront starts right now. breaking news new information tonight on the medical condition of andreas lubitz. he was unfit to fly. we're learning more about his training in arizona interrupted several times for mental health. amanda knox charged in the verdict of her roommate. the verdict returned moments ago. is she finally free? let's go outfront.