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Lawyer: Turkish man to plead guilty in Honolulu flight disturbance

  • COURTESY JAMIE REZNICK AND MATHEW URSUA

    Anil Uskanli being escorted off an American Airlines flight in Honolulu on May 19. Uskanli is expected to plead guilty nexyt week to interfering with a flight crew. He faces deportation to Turkey.

A lawyer says a Turkish man accused of causing a flight disturbance that prompted fighter jets to escort the plane to Honolulu is planning to plead guilty to interfering with a flight crew.

Defense attorney Richard Sing said today that Anil Uskanli is expected to enter the plea in federal court in Honolulu on Tuesday.

Court documents say that on May 19 Uskanli tried to get to the front of the plane during the American Airlines flight from Los Angeles. Crew members feared his laptop contained explosives.

The disturbance prompted two ­Hawaii Air National Guard F-22 Raptor fighter jets to scramble to the airspace and escort American Airlines Flight 31 as it landed safely in Honolulu.

A magistrate judge last week ruled that Uskanli is mentally competent to stand trial and must be held without bail because he poses a danger to the community.

Because Uskanli’s student visa has been revoked, he faces deportation to Turkey.

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