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Trial set for Pendle men accused of jet bomb threat
A SIX-week trial has been pencilled in for two Pendle men who are accused of threatening to blow up an airliner in mid flight.
Forty-nine witnesses are expected to be called by prosecutors in the case of supermarket employee Tayyab Subhani, 30, and restaurant worker Mohammed Safdar, 41.
Subhani, of Townley Street, Brierfield, and Safdar, of Hallam Crescent, Nelson, are alleged to have caused a Boeing 777 Manchester-bound flight to be diverted to Stansted Airport last May.
The craft was escorted by an RAF Typhoon jet as the 308 passengers and 14 crew, on the service from Lahore, were forced to disembark.
Subhani and Safdar have pleaded not guilty to communicating false information that the crew and passengers would be killed and the aircraft blown up before landing.
Prosecutor Sarah Vine told Chelmsford Crown Court during a pre-trial review, in the absence of the defendants, that their trial had been scheduled to begin in the Essex town on November 11.
She said it would involve 49 prosecution witnesses, many of whom were coming from Pakistan.
Judge Christopher Ball QC adjourned the case with both men remaining on bail.
The family of Subhani, who also works as a taxi driver, have protested his innocence. The two men had been in Pakistan for Safdar’s mother’s funeral.