Problem in PM's Plane: Biman to file criminal case
The authorities would file a criminal case in connection with any wrongdoing by people concerned that resulted in the emergency landing of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's aircraft in Hungary.
The VVIP flight carrying the premier made the emergency landing following a technical glitch on November 27.
“All three probe committees have found that the fault was caused by human or human factor error, but it is not clear if that was intentional,” Civil Aviation and Tourism Minister Rashed Khan Menon told a briefing yesterday.
He added the probe committees formed to investigate the incident could not find out if it was an act of sabotage. “So, a criminal case will be filed so that investigators can unearth if it was sabotage,” he said.
“If the slightest proof of sabotage is found, steps would be taken to ensure highest punishment against the persons involved,” the minister added.
Who would file the case and against whom would be determined after discussion with the home ministry, Menon told the briefing hours after he had received a 200-page report with recommendations from the probe committee formed by his ministry.
The committee made seven recommendations regarding security, four to ensure security of the VVIPs, three for Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh (Caab) and 10 for Biman Bangladesh Airlines.
According to the report, the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) was not followed properly. The people responsible for certain tasks including maintenance of checklist and supervision did not carry out their duty properly, the minister elaborated.
The report says SOP for VVIP flight is erroneous as video footage shows a lot of people moving around the VVIP flight. However, nobody could say who those people were and why they were around the aircraft, the minister said.
Menon added that he would summarise the findings and recommendations of all three reports and meet the prime minister within a couple of days to determine the next course of action.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines, civil aviation regulator CAAB and the aviation ministry formed the three committees to investigate the cause behind the technical glitch in the special flight.
Probes by all three committees have found that the VVIP flight carrying the premier made the emergency landing at Ashgabat International Airport in Turkmenistan after a loose nut had caused leakage of engine oil lowering the oil pressure of engine No 1 of the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
“At some stage this could have been dangerous. We are fortunate that there was no harm to the prime minister. But, it is the question of topmost state security,” Menon said at the briefing held at his ministry's conference room.
Biman has already suspended nine of its officials for their neglect of duty. Six of them were suspended after a Biman probe committee had submitted its primary report.
Three more officials were suspended later after investigation found their negligence of duty.
“We are examining if a case will be filed against all the nine suspended officials,” the minister added.