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Saturday, 7 December, 2002, 00:46 GMT
Sweden 'hijacker' admits gun charges
Kerim Chatty (r) arrives at court with his lawyer Nils Uggla
Kerim Chatty (r) arrived at court with lawyer Nils Uggla
A Muslim man once suspected of planning to hijack a flight to England has said he was "stupid" to try to board a plane with a gun in his toiletry bag.

Former hijack suspect Kerim Chatty
Kerim Chatty sparked fears of an 11 September style hijacking attack
Kerim Chatty, a Swede of Tunisian origin, sparked a security alert at Vasteras airport outside Stockholm in August when the weapon was found as he headed for a London-bound plane with 189 people on board.

He was originally held on suspicion of planning to hijack the plane but the investigation was dropped for lack of evidence.

On Friday, Chatty, 29, pleaded guilty in court to two counts of illegal possession of firearms and faces up to four years in jail when he is sentenced later this month.


It was stupid to bring a weapon through the security check - I was under a great deal of stress

Kerim Chatty

He told the court he had forgotten that he had a gun concealed in his toiletry bag which he was carrying, possibly on his way to attend a Muslim conference in Birmingham in the English Midlands.

"It was stupid to bring a weapon through the security check," he said.

"I was under a great deal of stress."

During the investigation police found a second gun in Chatty's possession.

Flying lessons

Chatty was arrested days before the first anniversary of the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington, when planes were hijacked and deliberately crashed into buildings.

Like some of those hijackers, Chatty had taken flying lessons in the US.

A fitness fanatic and keen Thai boxer, Chatty was also said to have dabbled in films and the criminal underworld before converting to Islam in a jail cell.

He has previous convictions for assault and theft.

See also:

30 Oct 02 | Europe
30 Sep 02 | Europe
02 Sep 02 | Europe
02 Sep 02 | Europe
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