Prosecutor: Germanwings co-pilot feared going blind

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Prosecutor: Doctors Felt Germanwings Co-Pilot Unfit to Fly

PARIS (AP) -- Fearing he was going blind, the co-pilot who slammed a Germanwings jet into the Alps took sick days at work, upped his dosage of an antidepressant, and reached out to doctors, but they didn't tell his employer they thought he was unfit to fly because of German privacy laws, a French prosecutor said Thursday.

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin presented new details of his criminal investigation into the case after meeting in Paris with many grieving relatives of the 150 people who died on the Germanwings flight co-piloted by Andreas Lubitz.

The March 24 crash, blamed on Lubitz, has put a spotlight on possible mental health issues involving flight crews.

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Prosecutor: Germanwings co-pilot feared going blind
In this photo released today, co-pilot of Germanwings flight 4U9525 Andreas Lubitz participates in the Airport Hamburg 10-mile race on September 13, 2009 in Hamburg, Germany. Lubitz is suspected of having deliberately piloted Germanwings flight 4U 9525 into a mountain in southern France on March 24, 2015 and killing all 150 people on board, including himself, in the worst air disaster in Europe in recent history. (Photo by Getty Images)
French authorities have indicated they believe the co-pilot of the GermanWings Airbus A320 deliberately took over the aircraft on Tuesday,crashing the plane on purpose and killing all 158 passengers and crew. The planned flight, from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, took a path over the southern French Alps near Dignes where the wreckage of the plane was found. At first GermanWings authorities expressed surprise and dismay in social media with the French authorities conclusion adding they believed it was too early in the investigation. A Lufthansa press conference later on Thursday, held in Germany, by Chief Executive Carsten Spohr stated that it appeared the co-pilot had prevented the pilot from entering the cockpit after a bathroom break. It leaves us absolutely speechless, he said. I wouldnt not have been able to imagine that the situation would have got even worse. ----- This social media photo of Andreas Lubitz near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco was found on his Facebook Page.
FRANKFURT, GERMANY - MARCH 14: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (EDITOR'S NOTE: This photo is available exclusively through Getty Images) In this photo released today, co-pilot of Germanwings flight 4U9525 Andreas Lubitz participates in the Frankfurt City Half-Marathon on March 14, 2010 in Frankfurt, Germany. Lubitz is suspected of having deliberately piloted Germanwings flight 4U 9525 into a mountain in southern France on March 24, 2015 and killing all 150 people on board, including himself, in the worst air disaster in Europe in recent history. (Photo by Getty Images)
MONTABAUR, GERMANY - MARCH 26: A policeman carries bags out of the residence of the parents of Andreas Lubitz, co-pilot on Germanwings flight 4U9525, on March 26, 2015 in Montabaur, Germany. French authorities confirmed that Lubitz was alone in the cockpit during the rapid descent of flight 4U9525 until it crashed into mountains in southern France two days ago, killing all 150 people on board. Authorities are pursuing the possibility that Lubitz might have acted deliberately in steering the aircraft to is destruction. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
MONTABAUR, GERMANY - MARCH 26: Police carry computer, a box and bags out of the residence of the parents of Andreas Lubitz, co-pilot on Germanwings flight 4U9525, on March 26, 2015 in Montabaur, Germany. French authorities confirmed that Lubitz was alone in the cockpit during the rapid descent of flight 4U9525 until it crashed into mountains in southern France two days ago, killing all 150 people on board. Authorities are pursuing the possibility that Lubitz might have acted deliberately in steering the aircraft to is destruction. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
MONTABAUR, GERMANY - MARCH 26: Police carry computer, a box and bags out of the residence of the parents of Andreas Lubitz, co-pilot on Germanwings flight 4U9525, on March 26, 2015 in Montabaur, Germany. French authorities confirmed that Lubitz was alone in the cockpit during the rapid descent of flight 4U9525 until it crashed into mountains in southern France two days ago, killing all 150 people on board. Authorities are pursuing the possibility that Lubitz might have acted deliberately in steering the aircraft to is destruction. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
Investigators carry boxes from the apartment of Germanwings airliner jet co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, in Duesseldorf, Germany, Thursday March 26, 2015. On Thursday, French prosecutors said Lubitz, the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525, "intentionally" crashed the jet into the side of a mountain Tuesday in the French Alps. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr signs a condolence book for the victims of the Germanwings plane crash in France as he arrives for the annual shareholders meeting of the Lufthansa Group in Hamburg, Germany, Wednesday, April 29, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
FILE - In this March 26, 2015 file photo, rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France. The co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 4525 tried a controlled descent on the previous flight that morning to Barcelona before the plane crashed into a mountainside in March on its way back to Germany, French air accident investigators said in a new report released Wednesday May, 6, 2015. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani, File)
In this photo provided Friday, April 3, 2015 by the French Interior Ministry, French emergency rescue services work among debris of the Germanwings passenger jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France. The co-pilot of the doomed Germanwings flight repeatedly sped up the plane as he used the automatic pilot to descend the A320 into the Alps, the French air accident investigation agency said Friday. (AP Photo/Yves Malenfer, Ministere de l'Interieur)
In this photo provided Monday, April 13, 2015 by the French Interior Ministry, debris of the Germanwings passenger jet are gathered near the crash site in Seyne-les-Alpes, France. The foreign ministers of Spain, France and Germany attended a wreath-laying ceremony Monday at Barcelona's airport in memory of the 150 victims of the Germanwings plane crash last month in the French Alps. (Yves Malenfer/French Interior Ministry via AP)
In this photo provided Monday, April 13, 2015 by the French Interior Ministry, French emergency rescue services collect debris of the Germanwings passenger jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France. The foreign ministers of Spain, France and Germany have attended a wreath-laying ceremony Monday at Barcelona's airport in memory of the 150 victims of the Germanwings plane crash last month in the French Alps. (Yves Malenfer/French Interior Ministry via AP)
In this photo provided Monday, April 13, 2015 by the French Interior Ministry, a rescue worker stands among bags filled with debris of the Germanwings passenger jet, gathered near the crash site in Seyne-les-Alpes, France. The foreign ministers of Spain, France and Germany have attended a wreath-laying ceremony Monday at Barcelona's airport in memory of the 150 victims of the Germanwings plane crash last month in the French Alps. (Yves Malenfer/French Interior Ministry via AP)
In this photo provided Monday, April 13, 2015 by the French Interior Ministry, a helicopter carries bags loaded with debris of the Germanwings passenger jet gathered near the crash site in Seyne-les-Alpes, France. The foreign ministers of Spain, France and Germany have attended a wreath-laying ceremony Monday at Barcelona's airport in memory of the 150 victims of the Germanwings plane crash last month in the French Alps. (Yves Malenfer/French Interior Ministry via AP)
In this photo provided Monday, April 13, 2015 by the French Interior Ministry, debris of the Germanwings passenger jet are gathered near the crash site in Seyne-les-Alpes, France. The foreign ministers of Spain, France and Germany attended a wreath-laying ceremony Monday at Barcelona's airport in memory of the 150 victims of the Germanwings plane crash last month in the French Alps. (Yves Malenfer/French Interior Ministry via AP)
150 candles are placed in the Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, western Germany, Friday, April 17, 2015. A mourning ceremony will be held in the Cathedral in memory of the 150 victims of the Germanwings plane crash last month in the French Alps. (Oliver Berg/Pool Photo via AP)
Police hold media away from the house where Andreas Lubitz lived in Montabaur, Germany, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Lubitz was the copilot on flight Germanwings 9525 that crashed with 150 people on board on Tuesday in the French Alps. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 17: Members of the public take part in a memorial service to commemorate the victims of the Germanwings flight 4U9525 passenger plane crash at the Dom cathedral on April 17, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. Approximately 1,400 people, including 500 family member of victims, will attend the service to pay their respects to the 149 victims killed when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz purposefully locked himself in the cockpit and piloted the plane at high speed into a mountainside in southern France on March 24, instantly killing everyone on board, including himself. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 17: Lower Saxony Governor Stephan Weil (2nd R) attends a memorial service to commemorate the victims of the Germanwings flight 4U9525 passenger plane crash at the Dom cathedral on April 17, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. Approximately 1,400 people, including 500 family member of victims, will attend the service to pay their respects to the 149 victims killed when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz purposefully locked himself in the cockpit and piloted the plane at high speed into a mountainside in southern France on March 24, instantly killing everyone on board, including himself. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 17: German President Joachim Gauck takes part in a memorial service to commemorate the victims of the Germanwings flight 4U9525 passenger plane crash at the Dom cathedral on April 17, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. Approximately 1,400 people, including 500 family member of victims, will attend the service to pay their respects to the 149 victims killed when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz purposefully locked himself in the cockpit and piloted the plane at high speed into a mountainside in southern France on March 24, instantly killing everyone on board, including himself. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 17: A memorial of flowers and candles can be seen on the a memorial service to commemorate the victims of the Germanwings passenger plane crash, on April 17, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. Approximately 1,400 people, including 500 family member of victims, will attend the service to pay their respects to the 149 victims killed when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz purposefully locked himself in the cockpit and piloted the plane at high speed into a mountainside in southern France on March 24, instantly killing everyone on board, including himself. (Photo by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 17: A memorial of flowers and candles can be seen on the a memorial service to commemorate the victims of the Germanwings passenger plane crash, on April 17, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. Approximately 1,400 people, including 500 family member of victims, will attend the service to pay their respects to the 149 victims killed when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz purposefully locked himself in the cockpit and piloted the plane at high speed into a mountainside in southern France on March 24, instantly killing everyone on board, including himself. (Photo by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 17: People watch the ecumenical memorial service to commemorate the victims of the Germanwings passenger plane crash, on April 17, 2015 in Cologne in front of the Cologne, Germany. Approximately 1,400 people, including 500 family member of victims, will attend the service to pay their respects to the 149 victims killed when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz purposefully locked himself in the cockpit and piloted the plane at high speed into a mountainside in southern France on March 24, instantly killing everyone on board, including himself. (Photo by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 17: A memorial of flowers and candles can be seen on the a memorial service to commemorate the victims of the Germanwings passenger plane crash, on April 17, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. Approximately 1,400 people, including 500 family member of victims, will attend the service to pay their respects to the 149 victims killed when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz purposefully locked himself in the cockpit and piloted the plane at high speed into a mountainside in southern France on March 24, instantly killing everyone on board, including himself. (Photo by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 17: Guests arrive for a memorial service to commemorate the victims of the Germanwings passenger plane crash, on April 17, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. Approximately 1,400 people, including 500 of the victims' relatives, will attend the service to pay their respects to the 149 victims who were killed when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz purposefully locked himself in the cockpit and piloted the plane at high speed into a mountainside in southern France on March 24, instantly killing everyone on board, including himself. (Photo by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 17: A black ribbon showing the flight number of Germanwings flight 4U9525 is displayed at the Dom cathedral, ahead of a memorial service to commemorate the victims of the Germanwings passenger plane crash, on April 17, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. Approximately 1,400 people, including 500 family member of victims, will attend the service to pay their respects to the 149 victims killed when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz purposefully locked himself in the cockpit and piloted the plane at high speed into a mountainside in southern France on March 24, instantly killing everyone on board, including himself. (Photo by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 17: North Rhine-Westphalia Governor Hannelore Kraft and Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, ahead of a memorial service to commemorate the victims of the Germanwings passenger plane crash, on April 17, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. Approximately 1,400 people, including 500 of the victims' relatives, will attend the service to pay their respects to the 149 victims who were killed when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz purposefully locked himself in the cockpit and piloted the plane at high speed into a mountainside in southern France on March 24, instantly killing everyone on board, including himself. (Photo by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)
Germanwings chief operating officer (COO) and member of the board Oliver Wagner holds a press conference on March 30, 2015 in Marseille, southern France about the creation of a family assistance center for the relatives of victims of a Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard. French prosecutors believe that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit and deliberately flew Flight 4U 9525 into a mountainside near Seyne-les-Alpes. AFP PHOTO / BERTRAND LANGLOIS (Photo credit should read BERTRAND LANGLOIS/AFP/Getty Images)
DIGNE-LES-BAINS, FRANCE - MARCH 28: Bishop Jean-Philippe Nault (C) leads a service for local residents remembering the victims of Germanwings Airbus fight near the crash site at Notre Dame du Bourg cathedral on March 28, 2015 in Digne-les-Bains, France. French authorities confirmed that Andreas Lubitz was alone in the cockpit during the rapid descent of flight 4U9525 until it crashed into mountains in southern France four days ago, killing all 150 people on board. Lubitz hid signs of illness and it is thought he acted deliberately in steering the aircraft to its destruction. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
LA VERNET, FRANCE - MARCH 28: Relatives stand at a monument to honour the victims of Germanwings flight 4U9525 in front of the mountains near the crash site on March 26, 2015 in Le Vernet, France. France. French authorities confirmed that Andreas Lubitz was alone in the cockpit during the rapid descent of flight 4U9525 until it crashed into mountains in southern France four days ago, killing all 150 people on board. Lubitz hid signs of illness and it is thought he acted deliberately in steering the aircraft to its destruction. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
LA VERNET, FRANCE - MARCH 28: Relatives stand at a monument to honour the victims of Germanwings flight 4U9525 in front of the mountains near the crash site on March 26, 2015 in Le Vernet, France. France. French authorities confirmed that Andreas Lubitz was alone in the cockpit during the rapid descent of flight 4U9525 until it crashed into mountains in southern France four days ago, killing all 150 people on board. Lubitz hid signs of illness and it is thought he acted deliberately in steering the aircraft to its destruction. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
A helicopter of the French gendarmerie flies over Seyne-les-Alpes on March 28, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings flight crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard. French prosecutors believe that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit and deliberately flew Flight 4U 9525 into a mountainside near Seyne. AFP PHOTO / JEFF PACHOUD (Photo credit should read JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)
A helicopter of the French gendarmerie flies over Seyne-les-Alpes on March 28, 2015, near the site where a Germanwings flight crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard. French prosecutors believe that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit and deliberately flew Flight 4U 9525 into a mountainside near Seyne. AFP PHOTO / JEFF PACHOUD (Photo credit should read JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)
Flowers and candles have been left to commemorate a woman, a victim of the Germanwings plane crash from Halle, eastern Germany on March 28, 2015. French prosecutors believe that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz locked his captain out of the cockpit and deliberately flew Flight 4U 9525 into a mountainside near Seyne. AFP PHOTO / DPA / HENDRIK SCHMIDT +++ GERMANY OUT +++ (Photo credit should read HENDRIK SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)
LE VERNET, FRANCE - MARCH 28: Policemen stand in front of a memorial stone for the victims of the Germanwings Airbus flight near to the crash site on March 28, 2015 in Le Vernet, France. French authorities confirmed that Andreas Lubitz was alone in the cockpit during the rapid descent of flight 4U9525 until it crashed into mountains in southern France four days ago, killing all 150 people on board. Lubitz hid signs of illness and it is thought he acted deliberately in steering the aircraft to its destruction. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
LE VERNET, FRANCE - MARCH 28: Policemen stand in front of a memorial stone for the victims of the Germanwings Airbus flight near to the crash site on March 28, 2015 in Le Vernet, France. French authorities confirmed that Andreas Lubitz was alone in the cockpit during the rapid descent of flight 4U9525 until it crashed into mountains in southern France four days ago, killing all 150 people on board. Lubitz hid signs of illness and it is thought he acted deliberately in steering the aircraft to its destruction. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
Workers from the Delphi factory, who lost two colleagues in the Germanwings flight crash, grieve after a minute of silence in Sant Cugat del Valles, near Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Germanwings Flight 9525 from Barcelona to Duesseldorf crashed Tuesday, April 24, in France. A total of 67 Germans, many Spaniards, and people from Australia, Japan, Israel, Turkey, Denmark and the Netherlands are believed to be among the 150 on board who died. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
A Lufthansa employee signs in a condolence book in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday, March 25, 2015, for the 150 victims that died in the Germanwings plane crash in the French alps on the way from Barcelona to Duesseldorf on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
A candle has been placed in front of the home of the family of Andreas Lubitz in Montabaur, Germany, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Lubitz was the copilot on flight Germanwings 9525 that crashed with 150 people on board on Tuesday in the French Alps. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
A police officer stands in front of an apartment building where they believe Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of the crashed Germanwings airliner jet, lived in Duesseldorf, Germany, Thursday, March 26, 2015, during an investigation into the crash in the French Alps on Tuesday that killed 150 people. Lubitz barricaded himself in the cockpit and "intentionally" sent the plane full speed into a mountain, ignoring the pilot's frantic pounding on the door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Gardengnomes sit in the garden of the house of the family of Andreas Lubitz in Montabaur, Germany, Friday, March 27, 2015. Lubitz was the copilot on flight Germanwings 9525 that crashed with 150 people on board on Tuesday in the French Alps. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
A candle is lit in front of a board with the flight number of Germanwings plane 4U92524 and the lettering 'We are in mourning' in English, German and Spanish during the annual general meeting of Lufthansa Group at the Congress Center in Hamburg, northern Germany, on April 29, 2015. German airline Lufthansa holds it annual shareholders' meeting in the shadow of last month's Germanwings crash in the French Alps which killed 150 people. AFP PHOTO / CARMEN JASPERSEN (Photo credit should read CARMEN JASPERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
COLOGNE, GERMANY - APRIL 17: A memorial of flowers and candles can be seen on the a memorial service to commemorate the victims of the Germanwings passenger plane crash, on April 17, 2015 in Cologne, Germany. Approximately 1,400 people, including 500 family member of victims, will attend the service to pay their respects to the 149 victims killed when co-pilot Andreas Lubitz purposefully locked himself in the cockpit and piloted the plane at high speed into a mountainside in southern France on March 24, instantly killing everyone on board, including himself. (Photo by Sascha Schuermann/Getty Images)
A program and a carving of wood are seen during the memorial service for the 150 people killed in the Germanwings plane crash in the Cathedral in Cologne, western Germany on April 17, 2015. About 1,500 guests are expected for the service, among them 500 relatives of the victims, in northern Europe's largest Gothic church, which will also be broadcast livCe on screens outside the cathedral and to viewers nationwide. AFP PHOTO / POOL / OLIVER BERG (Photo credit should read OLIVER BERG/AFP/Getty Images)
Anonymous stand near a stela commemorating the victims of the March 24 Germanwings Airbus A320 crash in the village of Le Vernet, southeastern France, on April 6, 2015 after a ceremony with victims' relatives. A German Airbus A320 of the low-cost carrier Germanwings crashed in the French Alps on March 24, killing all 150 people on board. AFP PHOTO / JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET (Photo credit should read JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/Getty Images)
People mourn at the memorial of flowers and candles in front of the Joseph-Koenig-Gymnasium secondary school in Haltern am See, western Germany on April 1, 2015, from where some of the Germanwings plane crash victims came. A church service will take place in the small western German town of Haltern to remember 16 pupils and two teachers from the same school who were killed in the Germanwings air disaster as they returned from an exchange trip to Barcelona. AFP PHOTO / SASCHA SCHUERMANN (Photo credit should read SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP/Getty Images)
National flags of countries of the victims, a teddy bear, books and different items put by people, are pictured near a stele in memory of the victims of the Germanwings Airbus A320 crash, in Seyne-les-Alpes, French Alps, on March 30, 205. Investigators sifting through the wreckage of the doomed plane in the French Alps were forced on March 30 to resume the hunt on foot as bad weather hampered helicopter flights. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-PERRE CLATOT (Photo credit should read JEAN-PIERRE CLATOT/AFP/Getty Images)
A stone reading 'RIP 4U 9525 in deep sorrow' lays amidst a memorial of flowers and candles in front of the headquarters of German airline Germanwings in Cologne, western Germany, on March 30, 2015. Officials say that the co-pilot of a Germanwings A320 Airbus plane that crashed on March 24, 2015 in the French Alps locked the captain out of the cockpit of the Airbus jet and deliberately crashed Flight 4U 9525, bound for Duesseldorf from Barcelona. The plane is said to have crashed at a speed of 700 kilometres (430 miles) per hour, killing all 150 on board instantly. AFP PHOTO / DPA / OLIVER BERG +++ GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read OLIVER BERG/AFP/Getty Images)
A general view of the University hospital were Andreas Lubitz, the Germanwings co-pilot who flew his Airbus into a French mountainside, had been treated, is pictured on March 27, 2015, in Duesseldorf, western Germany. Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot who French authorities say appeared to deliberately crash a Germanwings flight, was a life-long flying enthusiast with no apparent psychological problems or terrorist links. into the French Alps, killing all 150 aboard, hid a serious illness from the airline, prosecutors said Friday amid reports he was severely depressed. AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)
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Robin announced he was handing over his initial inquiry to three investigating magistrates who will try to determine who - if anyone - can be brought to trial in an involuntary manslaughter case in which the main culprit died in the crash.

The news came as families have just started to receive the remains of their loved ones for burials in the coming days and weeks.

The investigation so far "has enabled us to confirm without a shadow of a doubt ... Mr. Andreas Lubitz deliberately destroyed the plane and deliberately killed 150 people, including himself," Robin told reporters.

Investigators say Lubitz locked the pilot out of the cockpit and flew the plane into a French mountainside after having researched suicide methods and cockpit door rules and practiced an unusual descent.

In a new development, Robin said information from Lubitz's tablet PC showed he had also investigated vision problems, and "feared going blind," which would have ended the 27-year-old's aviation career.

Lubitz, who had a history of depression, had seven medical appointments in the month before the crash, including three with a psychiatrist, and had taken eight sick days off work, Robin said. Some of the doctors felt Lubitz was psychologically unstable, and some felt he was unfit to fly, but "unfortunately that information was not reported because of medical secrecy requirements," the prosecutor said.

Robin said that Lubitz sent an email to one doctor just two weeks before the crash, saying he had doubled his dose of an antidepressant he was taking in a failed attempt to end near-sleepless nights as a result of worries about his vision. Robin said it wasn't yet clear if the vision woes were real or imagined, but Lubitz clearly felt it was threatening his beloved career.

"He even said to some of those close to him that given this vision loss, life no longer had meaning," Robin said. Lubitz's girlfriend appeared to be aware of his vision woes, and his family to a lesser extent: Both she and his mother took him to some of his medical appointments, he added.

Robin's comments also exposed the long-term nature of Lubitz's troubles. He feared his vision troubles would spark a return of his depression that he once suffered, the prosecutor said.

In the last five years, Robin said Lubitz consulted with 41 different doctors.

In a March 10 e-mail to a doctor, Lubitz had indicated he could only sleep two hours a night and wanted urgent help, Robin said. Lubitz specified he was taking Mirtazapine, an antidepressant, and had even doubled the dosage from 15 to 30 milligrams in a failed bid to improve his sleep, and his fear of going blind continued, the prosecutor added.

Investigators were going over Lubitz's remains to determine whether he had taken any medications the day of the flight.

Germanwings and parent company Lufthansa have said that Lubitz had passed all medical tests and was cleared by doctors as fit to fly. Robin said he had no evidence that the carrier knew of the co-pilot's alleged visual ailment.

In Germany, doctors risk prison if they disclose information about their patients to anyone unless there is evidence they intend to commit a serious crime or harm themselves. Lubitz had told his doctors not to share information among each other about his condition, Robin said.

Four days after the crash, German prosecutors said there was no evidence that Lubitz had any physical ailment affecting his sight. Robin said Lubitz had complained of seeing flashing lights but that there was no apparent "organic" reason for Lubitz's apparent vision troubles.

Families of the victims were focusing on the return of the remains and belongings of their loved ones, and possible redress. German lawyer Peter Kortas, whose firm represents relatives of 34 victims, said negotiations with Germanwings on compensation began several days ago.

"In this moment everything else is not as important as the fact that the bodies, (the) remains be returned to their families," Kortas said. "It's already more than two and a half months since the crash happened, so it's finally necessary to get to closure.

"The loss of the relatives should be compensated with also a suitable amount of money," he added.

While Kortas said Thursday's meeting with the prosecutors was "informative and interesting," he regretted that some questions remained. Relatives were told what the procedure was for returning remains and personal belongings, but not all got an exact date for the handover of remains, and no timeframe was given for the return of the personal belongings.

Nearly half of the victims were German, 47 were Spanish and there were 17 nationalities among the rest.

Stephane Gicquel, who heads a French accident victims association and was at the families' meeting with Robin, said the relatives saw video reconstitutions of the last minute of the flight, with cockpit audio taken from the Airbus 320.

"So very concretely, the families had the proof of what happened by hearing the sound recordings, hearing the alarms, hearing the bangs on the door," he said. "I think that the families appreciated this frank and direct communication."

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Associated Press writers Masha Macpherson in Paris, Geir Moulson and Kirsten Grieshaber in Berlin, and Alan Clendenning in Madrid contributed to this report.

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This story corrects an earlier version to show that Lubitz had seven medical appointments in the month before the crash, not that he had seen seven doctors.

Germanwings | WanderBat

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