CORRECTION AND CLARIFICATION
In today's article, the headline ‘Terrorism charges dropped against airline passenger’ was incorrect. The accused in the case, David Bernard, was not a passenger on an aircraft when the incident occurred. We regret the error.
The following Correction and Clarification was published in the Sunday Gleaner of September 14, 2013.
The prosecution has withdrawn charges of terrorism and committing an act likely to endanger aircraft safety against 46-year-old Jamaican David Bernard, who had allegedly made a false report in February 2011 that there was a plan to plant a bomb on an American Airlines aircraft that was bound for the United States.
Bernard, who is being represented by attorney-at-law Donald Bryan, is facing a charge of creating public mischief in relation to the hoax and is to return to court on February 12, 2014 for trial. He is on bail in the sum of $300,000 with surety.
The allegations are that on February 27, 2011, personnel from the Transnational Crime and Narcotics Division received a call from a man alleging that an employee of one of the duty-free shops at the Norman Manley International Airport (NMIA) was planning to place explosives on an American Airlines plane.
The incident resulted in a suspension of cargo going into the United States.
Investigations revealed that Bernard, who was employed as a supervisor at a restaurant at the NMIA, had fabricated the story because of a personal vendetta against an employee at the duty-free shop at the airport.
When Bernard appeared before Resident Magistrate Opal Smith yesterday, prosecutors Sanchia Burrell and Natalie Ebanks-Miller told the court that the statements did not support critical aspects of the law, which the Crown would have to prove. They pointed out that terrorism had to be for political, ideological or religious purposes.