DUESSELDORF. — German authorities found torn-up sick notes showing that the pilot who crashed a plane into the French Alps was suffering from an illness that should have grounded him on the day of the tragedy, which he apparently hid from the airline. French prosecutors believe Andreas Lubitz (27) locked himself alone in the cockpit of the Germanwings Airbus A320 on Tuesday and deliberately steered it into a mountain, killing all 150 people on board.

“Documents with medical contents were confiscated that point towards an existing illness and corresponding treatment by doctors,” said the prosecutors’ office in Duesseldorf, where the co-pilot lived and where the doomed flight from Barcelona was heading.

“The fact there are sick notes saying he was unable to work, among other things, that were found torn up, which were recent and even from the day of the crime, support the assumption based on the preliminary examination that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and his professional colleagues,” the German prosecutors said.

They found no suicide note or confession, “nor was there any evidence of a political or religious background to what happened”, they added. — Reuters.