National Court acquits young man who joked about plane attack in private conversation | Technology

The National Court acquitted a young man of the offense of disturbing the peace for which he was accused of having sent in 2022, before boarding a flight from London to Menorca, a message to his friends in which he joked about the plane exploding. The message, sent to a private group on the Snapchat platform that he shared with six friends with whom he was traveling, was intercepted by the authorities and prompted the mobilization of an army fighter plane to escort him there. ‘to destination. The prosecution and the public prosecutor requested that the young man be sentenced to a fine of 22,500 euros for the offense of disturbing public order caused by the false bomb threat and to pay compensation of 94,782 euros. to the Ministry of Defense for costs. to mobilize the military aircraft, a Eurofighter.

In his sentence, the central criminal judge of the National Court, José Manuel Fernández Prieto, explains that on July 3, 2022, the accused Aditya Verma, 19 years old, originally from India and holder of a British passport, sent the message in which a photograph of him and a text in English which read: “On my way to pilot the plane (I am a member of the Taliban). » The judge reports that the reasons why this private message was captured by the United Kingdom’s security mechanisms while the plane was flying over French airspace are not known, which is why the Spanish authorities were informed , who deployed a fighter that escorted the commercial flight to Menorca. .

A Spanish fighter jet, seen through the plane window, escorts the Easyjet flight with Aditya Verma on board, July 3, 2022.MARCUS TORR (via REUTERS)

Once on land, it was proven that the alleged threat was not real because no explosives, objects or instruments were found to confirm it, he adds. For the judge, his actions cannot be considered as constituting an offense because “an intention to provoke the mobilization of the army plane, or any other police, assistance or rescue service, does not is not revealed or even remotely inferred. And he adds that “the aforementioned message and the photograph are not sent to any official body nor are they the subject of any publicity” but “they are made in a strictly private environment, between the accused and his friends with whom he steals, through a group to which only they have access.

The magistrate specifies that “the accused could not even suppose that the joke he played on his friends could be intercepted or detected by the British services, nor by third parties other than his friends who received the message”. “Quite the contrary, they take place in a strictly private environment, between the accused and his friends with whom he steals, through a private group,” explains Fernández Prieto. The judge acknowledges that he does not know how the British services became aware of the photograph and the message sent, because they were not the subject of evidence at the trial, but insists that it is not not attributed to the accused an intention to mobilize the indicated services. The magistrate referred to the suggestion made during the trial that it may have been one of the friends who revealed the message. Regarding this circumstance, he specifies that “in any case in the public dissemination of the declaration by a third party of the private group, the crime would be committed by this third party, never by the accused”.

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