Iraq transport minister pledges to hand over son if proved guilty

Source:Xinhua Published: 2014-3-10 8:37:13

Iraq's transport minister promised on Sunday to hand over his son to authorities if investigations prove his son prevented a Lebanese passenger plane from landing in Baghdad.

On Thursday at noon, the Lebanese Middle East Airlines said the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority prevented its plane from landing at the Baghdad airport, forcing it to return to Beirut.

Local media reported the plane had been denied because Mahdi al- Amiri, son of Iraq's transport minister, missed his flight at the Beirut airport and requested that the Iraqi Transport Ministry refuse the plane.

After the plane returned to Beirut, the Middle East Airlines cancelled its flight to Baghdad, saying it was communicating with Iraqi authorities about the incident, which the company said had caused financial losses and disrupted its flight schedule.

During a news conference at Baghdad International Airport, the transport minister apologized to the passengers who were on board the Lebanese Middle East Airlines plane.

Hadi al-Amiri added he would refer his son to court and would pay for the losses with his own money if the investigation proves his son of guilty.

Local media had quoted a spokesman for Iraq's transport ministry as saying that the Middle East Airlines plane was turned away because of cleaning operations at the airport in Baghdad.

On Thursday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said those responsible for preventing the plane entry should be held accountable and expelled, Maliki's media adviser Ali al-Moussawi said.

On Friday, Maliki telephoned Lebanese Minister of Public Works and Transportation Ghazi Zaiter, saying the Iraqi authorities condemned the barring of the Lebanese plane, according local media reports.

Posted in: Mid-East

blog comments powered by Disqus