A court in Spain said it was okay for a British man to joke with friends about blowing up a flight from London to Menorca. They let him go without punishment.
Aditya Verma said to his friends in July 2022, “I’m going to explode the plane. ” I belong to the Taliban.
He said he made the joke in a private Snapchat group and didn’t mean to upset anyone in public.
A judge in Madrid decided that there were no explosives. It was discovered that something made people think it was a real danger.
The trial of Mr. Verma happened on Monday at the National Court in the Spanish capital, a year and a half after the incident.
The UK security services found the message he sent to his friends before getting on the plane. They reported it to Spanish authorities while the easyJet plane was still flying.
Two Spanish fighter jets were sent to fly alongside the aircraft. Someone watched the plane until it reached Menorca, then they searched the plane when it landed.
Mr Verma, who was 18 years old, was taken by the police and kept in a jail in Spain for two days. He was let go after paying money as a promise to come back to court.
Earlier, a judge decided that Mr Verma did not do anything wrong and should be found innocent.
If the university student was proven guilty, he could have to pay a fine of up to €22,500 and also cover the cost of the scrambled jets, which could be an additional €95,000.
One important question in the case was how the message was leaked, even though Snapchat is supposed to keep messages private.
One idea brought up in court was that it might have been taken from Gatwick’s Wi-Fi network. However, a person who speaks for the airport told BBC News that its network cannot do that.
The judge said that the message was captured by England’s security when the plane was flying over France, but they don’t know why.
The message was sent in a private chat among the accused and his friends. They were the only ones who could see it, so the accused didn’t think anyone else would see it. The court said that the British services and other people couldn’t find out about the prank he played on his friends, except for the friends who got the message.
UK authorities were not sure how they found out about the message, and the judge mentioned that they were not part of the evidence in the trial.
A person who speaks for Snapchat said the social media company won’t talk about what happened in this specific situation.
Snapchat wants to make sure its app is a safe and fun place for people to use and connect with their friends. They also work with the police to help keep the app safe.
We also work with the police to quickly report any content that seems to threaten someone’s life, like threats to shoot up a school, use a bomb, or when someone goes missing. We also help the police by giving them information when they’re dealing with a situation where someone’s life is in immediate danger.
“If the police need information in an emergency, our team will usually reply within 30 minutes, no matter what time it is. “