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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 May, 2003, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK
Jordan airport blast journalist in court
King Abdullah II of Jordan visits a Jordanian police officer who was injured at Queen Alia International airport near Amman
King Abdullah II visited a police officer injured in the blast

The Japanese photographer whose battle souvenir from Iraq exploded at a Jordanian airport killing a security guard has appeared before a military tribunal.

"The journalist was taken before the prosecutor of the security court, which will judge this affair," Jordan's Information Minister Mohamad Adwan said.

Hiroki Gomi, a photographer for a leading Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun, was intending to board a flight to Cairo, en route to Tokyo, when the device exploded at Queen Alia international airport.

Airport security guard Ali al-Sarhan noticed the metal device in the journalist's luggage - it blew up in his hands as he tried to examine it. Three others were injured in the blast.

Mr Gomi, 36, was talking on a mobile telephone a short distance away.

It was not immediately clear what the device was.

Mr Gomi has told police he brought the object and several artefacts from Baghdad as war souvenirs.

Death penalty

Mr Gomi had spent two years in Jordan and covered the war in Iraq, said his newspaper, which expressed its "heartfelt apologies" for the incident.

The criminal offence of carrying an illegal weapon through airport security checks and causing the death of a person and the injury of others carries the death penalty in Jordan, AP reported.

Jordan has recently stepped up security checks at airports and its border crossings with Iraq in search for objects stolen from Iraqi museums and presidential palaces.

Country profile: Jordan
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19 Apr 03  |  Entertainment

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