• Short Summary

    At Rome's Palace of Justice, the trial opened today (Thursday), of Raffaele Minichiello, the 21-year-old ex-United States Marine who carried out the longest air hi-jacking ever i October 1969 - when he forced a Boeing 707 jet to fly from California to Rome.

  • Description

    At Rome's Palace of Justice, the trial opened today (Thursday), of Raffaele Minichiello, the 21-year-old ex-United States Marine who carried out the longest air hi-jacking ever i October 1969 - when he forced a Boeing 707 jet to fly from California to Rome.

    Minichiello, whose trial has twice been postponed, is a Vietnam war veteran once decorated for bravery. At the time of the hi-jacking he was waiting to face a Court Martial for stealing - a crime for which he had been cleared by a civilian court after explaining he had fallen asleep without taking anything from an Army stores. He had started out to steal in Vengeance for not finding in his bank account all the money he claimed he had sent back from Vietnam. His intention as to go Italy to see his 80-year-old father - but as a soldier, and one awaiting Court Martial at that, he had no passport and could not buy a ticket.

    He told the Court today that originally his gun had not been loaded when he forced the TWA aircraft to divert from a Los Angeles-San Francisco flight. But, after stopping for refuelling in Denver and taking on additional crew in New York, he was frightened by FBI men and loaded up - and a shot went off because he was nervous.

    The charges against Minichiello are kidnapping, violence and other offences which carry a maximum penalty of more than 30 years of prison. However, if he were to be returned for trial in the USA under a military tribunal he could face the death penalty.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAANXYNC5YJUESQABBGF1O9UI0V
    Media URN:
    VLVAANXYNC5YJUESQABBGF1O9UI0V
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    05/11/1970
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:01:13:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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