A French court has sentenced to four years in prison Arménio Pinto Martins, the owner of the truck involved in the accident that in March 2016 which resulted in the death of 12 Portuguese emigrants in Switzerland.

The court of large jurisdiction in Moulins, France, also condemned this Wednesday the driver Ricardo Pinheiro, now 21, was sentenced to three years in prison.

In the trial that began on Wednesday, the Public Prosecutor’s Office asked for four years’ imprisonment for each of the defendants, accused of aggravated negligent homicide.

In the closing arguments, Ricardo Pinheiro’s lawyer applied for a two-year sentence and the lawyer for Arménio Pinto asked for his acquittal.

The accident occurred on the evening of March 24, at the Estrada Centro Europa (National 79) in Montbeugny, Moulins. The van collided head-on with a lorry on the opposite side of the road. Only Ricardo Pinheiro, who made an ill-calculated overtaking, survived.

The group had left Romont, Switzerland, bound for Portugal to spend Easter and travelled in the overcrowded Renault Spinter, with exceeded its seating capacity, made available by Arménio Pinto Martins, which Ricardo Pinheiro agreed to drive.