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Australian man denies hijacking Bali-bound flight

Saturday, 26 April 2014 - 4:25pm IST | Place: Canberra | Agency: IANS

The Australian man who sparked a hijack scare on a Bali-bound flight from Brisbane has denied that he was drunk and thought the cockpit door was the entrance to the toilet, a media report said Saturday.

Matthew Christopher Lockley, 28, a plumber from Queensland, was detained Friday and is still in police custody in Denpasar, WA Today reported. Lockley has denied any attempt of hijacking the flight and has told the Bali police that he was travelling to Indonesia to find his Indonesian wife and insisted that he did not consume any alcohol while boarding the Vigin Blue flight from Brisbane. Bali police spokesman Hery Wiyanto said that Lockley was asleep for most of the time on the flight and only when he was woken up by the crew for meal, he realised that his bag was missing, and that is when he decided to use the washroom.

"He thought the cockpit was the toilet and was banging on the door to the toilet," Hery said. The continuous knocking on the cockpit door prompted the captain to issue a hijack alert. Colonel Sugiharto, the air force commander in Bali, said Friday that after the hijack alert was triggered, there was no further communication with the plane. The hijack procedures were established on the ground 30 minutes prior to the flight landing at Bali's Ngurah Rai airport Friday. Eventually the plane was isolated off the runway and two heavily armed hijack teams led by the Indonesian mobile brigade were sent onto the flight to arrest Lockley.

If Lockley is found guilty, he can be sentenced up to two years prison, Hery said. The police have also said that Lockley was visited late Friday by four or five friends, and a representative from the Australian consulate general in Bali.

 




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