French air passenger jailed in Abu Dhabi for bomb joke

18th January 2010, Comments 0 comments

A 66-year-old Frenchman who made a bomb joke was taken off the plane in Abu Dhabi, grilled by police and then jailed.

Paris – A 66-year-old Frenchman was jailed in Abu Dhabi after making a bomb joke on a plane, the French foreign ministry said Saturday.

Pensioner Jean-Louis Lioret, who was flying to Bangkok from Paris on Etihad Airways, was arrested after cabin crew overheard him using the word bomb in an exchange with his co-passenger, his brother Michel Lioret said.

During a stopover at Abu Dhabi, Lioret's neighbour asked him to keep a packet on the other seat next to him as it was empty.

Lioret's jocular "I hope it's not a bomb," was overheard and sent off alarm bells.

He was taken off the plane on Tuesday and grilled by police and then jailed. He was also informed that the packet contained cigarettes and not a bomb.

The French foreign ministry said it was informed of the arrest on Friday and was following the case closely.

AFP / Expatica

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