Airliner bomb hoax amid G8 nets no prison

SAPPORO (Kyodo) The Sapporo District Court gave a suspended prison term Tuesday to a man who grounded a Tokyo-bound flight with a bomb threat at an airport near the Hokkaido venue of the July Group of Eight summit.

Takanari Deto, 69, a realtor from Sapporo, was given an 18-month sentence, suspended for three years.

Judge Yutaka Inoue found Deto guilty of forcible obstruction of business under the Penal Code for causing an airline flight to delay its departure from New Chitose Airport near Sapporo on July 8, the second day of the three-day G8 summit.

Inoue, the sole judge, denounced Deto for causing trouble to passengers. In explaining the reason for suspending the sentence, Inoue said Deto had not possessed explosives and there was no real danger.

Air Do has filed a ¥20 million damages suit with the Sapporo District Court against Deto, arguing it was forced to cancel two flights due to the bomb threat.