BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Russian Polish Albanian Greek Czech Ukrainian Serbian Turkish Romanian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Europe  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 3 September, 2002, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
Hijack suspect moved to Stockholm
Kerim Chatty
Mr Chatty tried to board a plane with a gun in his bag
A Swedish man suspected of planning to hijack a plane bound for the UK has been transferred to the capital, Stockholm, for questioning by national security police, officials say.

Kerim Sadok Chatty, 29, was remanded in custody on Monday, on suspicion of planning to seize control of an aircraft, and of possession of an illegal firearm.


Further questioning is planned in Stockholm with the Swedish security police Saepo

Thomas Haeggstroem
Prosecutor
The hearing took place in Vasteras, outside Stockholm, where security officers found the gun in Mr Chatty's washbag as they scanned his hand luggage.

On Tuesday, Mr Chatty was taken to Kronoberg prison in central Stockholm, a member of staff confirmed to the French news agency AFP.

"Further questioning is planned in Stockholm with the Swedish security police Saepo, who have taken over the case from the Vasteras police," prosecutor Thomas Haeggstroem said.

Swedish police by the evacuated Ryanair plane
The discovery of Mr Chatty's gun prompted a massive security operation
Prosecutors have until 16 September to bring charges against Mr Chatty, who has admitted having the gun in his luggage as he tried to board the Ryanair flight to London.

He has denied planning to hijack the plane.

Mr Chatty's lawyer, Nils Uggla, has insisted that his client is "very much against violence" and was being unfairly suspected of terrorism because of his Muslim faith and the timing of his arrest.

Mr Chatty, whose father is Tunisian and mother Swedish, listened intently as the prosecution lawyers addressed Monday's court hearing.

Swedish police said earlier in the day that they had enough evidence to accuse Mr Chatty of the "serious crime" of attempted hijacking in addition to the weapons charge under which he had been held.

The hijacking charge - which Swedish police said was unprecedented in their country - carries a maximum life sentence.

Terrorist checks

Prosecutors are checking if he has links to any terrorist organisations.

Concern has been raised by a number of factors:

  • The approach of the anniversary of the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington that used hijacked planes
  • The revelation that Mr Chatty took flying lessons in the US, as did some of the 11 September hijackers
  • The claim by Mr Chatty that he wanted to attend a British conference of Salafi followers of Islam, a radical school said to be favoured by Osama Bin Laden, although it rejects violence
  • Disputed reports from intelligence sources that Mr Chatty wanted to attack a US embassy in Europe

Mr Chatty's lawyer said a series of coincidences had muddied the facts.

"He is Muslim, he is flying and he has a gun and it's close to 11 September," Mr Uggla said on Saturday.

"That makes people draw quick conclusions."

A British Muslim cleric echoed the view, telling the BBC that Islamophobia had informed much of the media coverage about Mr Chatty.

Mr Chatty has previous convictions for weapons offences and violence but a friend of his told the BBC he believed Mr Chatty had simply forgotten the gun was in his bag as he rushed to catch the Stansted-bound flight.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Stephen Sackur reports from Sweden
"The suspect's lawyer says he had a gun but he is not a hijacker"
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes