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Court to hear arguments in case against air hooligan

December 05, 2013, 11:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW
On January 11, Kabalov, on a flight from Hurghada to Moscow, took actions "towards hijacking the plane," using violence and threatening
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© ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, December 05. /ITAR-TASS/. Moscow regional court on Thursday will hear arguments of the parties at trial of Sergei Kabalov, accused of plane hijacking attempt.

On January 11, Kabalov, on a flight from Hurghada to Moscow, took actions "towards hijacking the plane," using violence and threatening, the investigators said.

Kabalov was put on the international wanted list and detained in Grodno region, Belarus, on March 7. He was convoyed to Moscow on May 18.

If convicted, he might face 7 to 12 years in prison.

He denied the charges, but acknowledged affray.

"Kabalov has had a psychic trauma since 2009, when his plane made a belly landing," his lawyer Ignat Yavorsky said at the Tuesday hearing. "He drank alcohol before the flight on January 11, and as he was trying to have a smoke in a lavatory he was confronted by flight attendants who opened the door and nearly dragged him out half-naked into the corridor."

According to Yavorsky, Kabalov met a fellow countryman on the plane, and as the plane's tail section was half-empty, they made themselves comfortable there and began to drink alcohol, with frequent trips to the lavatory to have a smoke. Yavorsky, who acknowledged that this behavior was resented by flight attendants, nevertheless blamed them for overreacting.

At the previous hearing, a witness testified that Kabalov had drunk a liter of tequila and that he had appeared on a Moscow-Hurghada flight wearing light summer clothes. He hit a flight attendant after the latter rebuked him for improper behavior, the witness said.

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