Israeli faces Russian jail for trying to open plane door mid-flight to smoke
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Israeli faces Russian jail for trying to open plane door mid-flight to smoke

Passenger’s drunken mid-air shenanigans could see him spend six months behind bars under new law

An Aeroflot Airbus A330-200 seen departing from Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on June 17, 2011. (CC BY-SA Wikimedia commons)
An Aeroflot Airbus A330-200 seen departing from Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport on June 17, 2011. (CC BY-SA Wikimedia commons)

An Israeli man who caused a disturbance on a flight to Moscow earlier this year by attempting to open the door of the plane in the air while drunk could face up to six months in a Russian prison for his unruly behavior.

According to Russian and Israeli media reports, a Moscow-area court last week said the 51-year-old man boarded the Aeroflot flight in May in Tel Aviv drunk, and attempted to open the door of the plane to smoke a cigarette. He also threatened and violently attacked crew members who tried to restrain him.

The passenger, whose name was not released, was arrested by Russian authorities upon landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on May 22.

The court last week convicted the Israeli passenger of violent behavior and of threatening Aeroflot cabin crew members and other passengers.

It was not immediately clear when his sentencing would take place.

He is the first person to be convicted under Russia’s amended aviation law, which allows disorderly passengers to be sentenced to jail time for unruly behavior.

The new law, which came into effect in April, allows disorderly passengers to be charged with a criminal offense and be sentenced to jail time.

Russian authorities say they hope the new measure will deter others from engaging in similar behavior.

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