Embargo Buster Italian Pilot Sentenced to Prison, Fine in Jordan
By Fuad Abu Hijleh
A Jordanian court issued a three-year prison sentence on Tuesday against the Italian pilot who violated the kingdom’s airspace in April on his way to Baghdad, in defiance of the air embargo imposed on Iraq.
Nicola Trifani, who was tried in absentia, was also fined JD 10,000 ($14,000). The court also fined the airline that owns the aircraft a sum of JD 1000.
Jordan detained Trifani after he failed to ask permission to pass through the air space thus “jeopardizing air traffic,” according to the indictment.
Trifani was bailed and permitted to leave Jordan four days after he was detained, but he failed to appear before the court.
The Italian pilot had landed in Baghdad in his small plane in a gesture of "solidarity with the Iraqi people," along with two other Italians and a French priest.
The adventure, called “Operation SOS Iraqi People,” created a big stir, and was followed by a dispute at the level of UN Security Council permanent members whether the air embargo on Iraq was legitimate. There is no clear provision in the UN resolutions regarding the air embargo on Iraq.
Saddam International Airport has been reopened recently, and a Russian followed by a German airplane landed there in violation of the embargo.
According to Jordanian law, Trifani can appeal the verdict – Albawaba.com
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