Hijacker to be sentenced next month

Wellington (dpa) – Somali refugee Asha Ali Abdille, 36, pleaded
guilty Wednesday to New Zealand’s first plane hijacking charge.

She admitted trying to hijack a 19-seat Air New Zealand Jetstream
aircraft flying from Blenheim to Christchurch with two pilots and
seven passengers in February 2008.

Police agreed to drop seven other charges, including wounding the
pilots and a woman passenger, after Abdille pleaded guilty at a
pre-trial hearing in the Christchurch High Court.

She was said to have carried three knives onto the plane and
claimed she had a bomb and wanted to be flown to Australia. She was
overpowered by the pilots after a scuffle.

The hijacking charge carries a life prison sentence. Abdille was
remanded into care at a psychiatric hospital until sentencing on
August
27.

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