Egyptian Court Overturns Suspension of Pilot who Barred Israeli Security

Published December 20th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

An Egyptian court on Wednesday overruled a decision by EgyptAir to suspend a prominent pilot for barring Israeli security men from searching his plane at the Palestinian airport in the Gaza Strip. 

Captain Ali Murad flew an EgyptAir plane back empty to Cairo in September after Israeli security stopped passengers boarding, and a second plane had to be sent to Gaza to transport the stranded customers. 

EgyptAir suspended Murad, who is also secretary general of the Egyptian pilots union, "until the end of the investigation" into the incident, and complained that his actions had caused the company large financial losses. 

But the supreme correctional court overturned the national airline's decision in response to a lawsuit filed by Murad and ordered the company to pay Murad's costs, the state-run MENA news agency reported. 

MENA did not report the court's reason for the verdict. 

Judge Sayyed Nufel also fixed a January 3 court session to hear accusations that the pilot caused EgyptAir 20,000 dollars in losses after he stopped Israeli security men from searching the plane and flew home empty. 

Israeli security services control air traffic in and out of Gaza under agreements governing Palestinian self-rule. 

EgyptAir officials have said both a Palestinian and an Israeli security member are allowed to search aircraft under directives followed since the Gaza route began operating in 1998. 

Murad meanwhile denied that he had flouted instructions, saying no one had told him there was an agreement to allow security to search the plane -- CAIRO (AFP)  

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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