Pendle men face trial over plane bomb threat claim

Scales
Scales

Two men from Pendle face a six-week Crown Court trial in Essex accused of threatening to blow up an airliner in mid air.

They were passengers in a Manchester-bound Boeing 777 which was diverted to Stansted Airport under RAF Jet escort during the incident in May this year.

Supermarket employee Tayyab Subhani (30), of Brierfield’s Townley Street, and restaurant worker Mohammed Safdar (41), of Hallam Crescent, Nelson, have devied communicating false information that the crew and passengers would be killed and the aircraft blown up before landing.

Prosecutor Sarah Vine told Chelmsfod Crown Court during a pre-trial review in the absence of the defendants that a six-week trial had been scheduled to begin on November 11th. She said it would involve 49 prosecution witnesses, many of whom are coming from Pakistan.

Judge Christopher Ball QC adjourned the case until November 11th. Both men remain on bail.

The Pakistan ­International Airways flight PK709, carrying 308 passengers and 14 crew from Lahore to Manchester, was diverted to Stansted 10 minutes before it was due to land and was shadowed by an RAF Typhoon fighter jet after the airline pilot reported threats.