King Bono: “They did what they wanted, without my ordered anything [funeral]”

In May 2004, the then defense minister, José Bono, wearing only a month in office, traveled to Trabzon (Turkey) , where a year before had crashed Yak-42 . To mark the tenth anniversary of the accident, which meets Sunday morning, Bono has provided COUNTRY content of your daily those days, part of the raw material of the second volume of his memoirs, to be published later this year .

»Tuesday, 05.25.2004. Since Congress Torrejon. Flight to Trabzon (Trebizond) on the official Airbus.Come the military archbishop, the mayor of Zaragoza, Juan Alberto Belloch, and more than 30 journalists.

We moved to the Buyuk hotel in the city of Maçka. Dinner with 160 families of victims of Yakovlev. We intend that no journalists in the room, but look up and see Miguel Gonzalez, HOME, which has been cast. I speak with families and I shudder suffering carrying accumulated for not knowing the truth of what happened in the accident. Emotions, feelings and anger mix. I am struck a woman in the neighborhood of San Pablo, Albacete, who has lost her child and talking with depth and hard. Another mother tells me that his son, Captain, said goodbye to her saying, “Mom, if anything happens to me do not blame the Army, because I’m a volunteer and the army is my life.” I take this confidence to, in my words at the end of dinner, Azaña and ask quote “Peace, mercy and forgiveness” on behalf of the Ministry of Defence. A young girl scolds me. “I’m not ready to forgive or the minister Trillo , or the Jerne [Chief of Staff of the Army, General Luis Alejandre] and do not understand you to conceal them. “ At the end of dinner, a lady from Canary tells me how his son would have been buried in Sewer (Murcia) but she wants to take him to his land. Lots of emotion and a lot of emotional strength. I’m going to sleep with the idea that some families are unwilling to forgive without investigating the facts. I’m not the prosecutor, or the inquisitor but can not help but affect me the tenderness with which I speak this mother: “My son wanted me in a special way, to the way they told me mom I was excited, and you should understand who wants to close his remains. ”

. »Wednesday, 26/05/2004 chains [TV] play the part of my speech in which I said, referring to the 62 soldiers who died in the crash of Yak-42: “They would have wanted to die otherwise , which would not live otherwise is other than the service to Spain “. Therefore the verses are usually recited in the military funeral services will change. It will no longer say “they would not otherwise die” but “did not want to live any other way.” It is a tribute to those who died in the Yakovlev (1) .

I get up at six o’clock and attend Mass that celebrates the military archbishop in the dining room. I asked to read the Epistle of St. Paul. In the rite of peace, I see that I must give it to anyone last night more firmly rejected the pardon for those responsible for the death of his family. I extend my hand and asked, “Not even here at Mass, are you able to forgive?” “I want the truth and not stop until get it,” I answered.When you kiss, internally I take the commitment to seek the truth of what happened with all my strength until the end. Profound and radical change in my position before the accident: seek the truth without corporate contemplations. Glad you have been attending Mass and the Rite of Peace.

We climbed a complicated and difficult road to Mount Pilav, where Yakovlev crashed a year ago today. The summit is covered by a fog that almost impairs vision; a group of children, poorly dressed and with few outerwear has started some wild flowers to give to the families of the victims of the Yak. The authorities and the population of the area is flushed to show affection towards visitors sorry. Castilian banners welcome them. People are sitting in bars and roadside to see transited arrival from Spain to mourn at the site where their loved ones died.

Already in Madrid, called Miguel Barroso [Secretary of State for Communication] to tell me that they have given very positive information about the trip. “The Jerne is much hated by family and maybe have to give that piece,” he adds. Indeed, I must dismiss Alejandre and so I tell the phone to President [José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero]. “One of the reasons for how much they hate the relatives of Yak to Jerne,” he explained, “it is because, on the eighth day of the accident, he wrote a letter to Peter J. [Ramirez, director of the World] to which enclosed a photo of smiling posing aboard a Hercules [Army transport plane] with the following comment: The military did not organize honeymoons Cancun “. Such impudence hurt the families: and no wonder, because one thing is honeymoons and other people put on planes without the slightest safety requirement, despite protests and prior claims.

»Thursday, 05.27.2004. Today publishes COUNTRY I have offered a set mausoleum for victims of the Yak-42 errors, by all indications, were made ​​in identifying the bodies. This offer may not accept the family. I will do what they want, because burying the dead is up, and right of families.

My trip to Turkey restless and uncomfortable in the PP. Wish, and so I do know, I forget the Yakovlev but impossible. [Eduardo] Zaplana [spokeswoman last Aznar government] called me: “You’re going too fast and this can hurt you … In some circles of my party you are longing”. I answer that, “precisely because it is not hard to beat, I’m having problems with family members of those killed in the Yakovlev”.

Trillo write a letter in which I say: “Yesterday marked one year of the tragic crash of Yak-42, coinciding with the anniversary, traveled with family members of the deceased to Turkey. There, over dinner, I asked for peace, mercy and forgiveness. Rest in peace for the dead; and mercy and forgiveness for those without bad faith, we have committed an error. Families want the truth. I think they have a right to know what happened and why I received them and I’ve helped to DNA tests are practiced. I will continue to help supply them with all means at our disposal, so rest assured that from this ministry we speak with truth and heart. On several occasions I have said on this subject that I just want to honor the memory of the dead with the honor they deserve and lessen the pain of their families. I specifically stated that I do not want to be neither righteous nor inquisitor because in my ethical and political code should be no fuel hatred … ”

I arrive at Zarzuela to attend the Mass in honor of the Laureates Knights of the Order of San Fernando. I speak to Jemes [Chiefs of the three armies] of Yakovlev. I let them know what family members think of Jerne [Alejandre] and Trillo. The Jerne, hurt, said “some families it is impossible to do anything because they are installed in hate and others just want to humiliate the Army and get money.”

King Juan Carlos, during the funeral in Torrejón Air Base by 62 Spanish soldiers in the crash of Yak-42. / MIGUEL GENER

The King said to me: “What you doing well with families …” I say that the Funeral Flowers Shrewsbury was poorly organized and, for comment, add: “Some say that a single, quick ceremony for Reyes could be made attend a funeral and not only incomodarles with several different funeral acts “. “That’s a lie!”, I answered the King. “I’m not going to the opera, but for military acts have I insist … They did what they wanted, but I ordered anything.”

»Thursday, 07/01/2004. Dinner at a friend’s house. A PP leader warns me: “Rajoy said that we are behaving very well with you and that you are the minister who most harm us, but we have a lot of information about you and we’re going to paper as you continue with the Yakovlev … Admiral Torrente [Francisco Torrente Sanchez, Secretary General for Defence Policy with Bono and Navy chief with Trillo] is a traitor who was not loyal to any minister and neither will you. “ Paco Torrente is, in my view, one of the best soldiers of Spain.

»Friday, 02.07.2004. Lunch with Carlos Ripoll, Alfonso Agulló [brothers two soldiers killed in the incident] and counsel for the Association of Relatives. I give detailed information and dossier comprehensive on the case which confirms the outrages that were made ​​with our soldiers to force them to travel in conditions that should never do and then shamelessly who treated their bodies.

»Wednesday, 01.09.2004. I receive the report of the Forensic Medicine Institute on identifications Yak-42. It is confirmed in writing what we already knew: the 30 corpses identifications made ​​by the Spanish forensic false. What a disaster! Even the chance has been part of these negligent.

»Wednesday, 13.10.2004. I go to the Chiefs of Defence with the director of my cabinet, Roberto Lopez, to collect data from Yakovlev. I’m sick of not delivering me the documentation that I ask; I know they have it for a report of CNI [National Intelligence Centre]. I take the Chief of Defence [Felix Sanz] appear at a Committee of Congress, in his absence, not compromise it. I meet with the Jemacon [Chief of Joint Staff] and other officials. I noticed on guard, wary. They do not trust me and I do not trust them. After an hour of conversation and highlighting its contradictions I say that “in carrying Yakovlev not won but Spanish soldiers and I must say that this house did not act with due diligence”.They are on tenterhooks. Wonder where files are Yakovlev and me down to an office where there is a locked cabinet. They say the key is a commander who did not come today because he is ill. I force the closet.Saco roles and myself I select the ones that interest me. I am struck by the lack of care which have filed this documentation. I begin to place documents in a box. A colonel (2) tells me he has orders that do not go away without proper custody papers. I look at him angrily and ordered:.. “Call the Civil Guard to route and custodie to my office” It’s a way to show that I do not trust them and I prefer the Guardia Civil I will not step back . I take the documents are very important to establish that the Chiefs of Defence had great responsibility in hiring a plane that should never raise our soldiers. That documentation certifying that the insurance premium for passengers never hired, so the state had to pay it; there were up to six successive subcontracting; and, as a result of this chain of intermediaries, Defence paid 149,000 euros for flying the Yak-42 but the company that operated the airplane received 45,000 ¿. Who got the difference? It was the same in the 40 previous flights hired to transport the Spanish troops?