Two East Berlin workers were sentenced to two years in prison by a special French military court in West Berlin today (Thursday) for hi-jacking a Polish plane to West Berlin last month.
Two East Berlin workers were sentenced to two years in prison by a special French military court in West Berlin today (Thursday) for hi-jacking a Polish plane to West Berlin last month. The sentence comes on the same day as hi-jackers forced a Polish airliner flying from Wroclaw in Poland to land in Vienna where they asked Austrian authorities for political asylum.
The two men, Ulrich - Juergen Von Hof, 19, and his 24-year-old companion, Peter Klemt, were tried on several charges including violating security laws regulating Berlin air space. The plane they hi-jacked was on a routine flight from Poland to Brussels via East Berlin. Earlier, the prosecution had demanded a minimum of three years in jail, while the defence had asked for acquittal.
The hi-jacking was the first ever of a Communist owned civilian aircraft. The two hi-jackers threatened crew members of the plane with pistols - one of which was unloaded. They told the court that they would not have done anything to endanger the lives of the crew or 71 passengers. Both had made previous attempts to flee to the West and had got the idea for the hi-jacking from television.
In Vienna, today's hi-jackers, two men, had used toy pistols and a false bomb to persuade the pilot to divert his course. Poland has called on Austria to arrest and extradite the two men.