A BRITISH ex-chess prodigy who sparked a fighter jet response with a false bomb alert is facing six-figure fines.
SolarpixBritish ex-chess prodigy Aditya Verma, 20, is facing a six-figure payout after sending an ‘I’m a Taliban’ text on an easyJet flight[/caption]
Passengers on the flight from Gatwick to Menorca captured the moment the former college pupil sparked a fighter jet responseSolarpix
SolarpixArmed cops hauled him off the easyJet plane in handcuffs when it landed on the island and he spent two nights in police custody[/caption]
Spanish officials are yet to release the indictment that will form the basis of the Spanish state prosecutor’s case against the super-bright youngster.
They have, however, confirmed they are not seeking a prison sentence.
But well-placed sources said yesterday that Aditya, now studying economics at Bath University, is facing a €95,000 (£82,000) compensation bill if convicted.
State prosecutors also want him fined nearly £19,500 if he is found guilty of wrongdoing.
The investigation sparked by his arrest has been rumbling on behind closed doors but will now go to trial after he was charged following a lengthy criminal probe by an investigating judge.
The court also decides on extradition requests.
He has not yet been asked to register a plea but is expected to protest his innocence on the day.
The compensation bill being demanded of him, should he be convicted, is the Spanish state’s calculation of the cost of scrambling two F18 fighter jets.
The combat aircraft were summoned from a military base in the northern city of Zaragoza to escort the holiday plane as it neared Menorca during the bomb scare.
Aditya, who has represented England at several international chess tournaments and once met legendary player Garry Kasparov, will be represented by a female lawyer normally based in the Menorcan capital Mahon.
The “brilliant” student was held after allegedly telling friends he was going on holiday with on Snapchat: “I’m going to blow this plane up. I’m a Taliban.”
Local reports at the time said his message, sent while he was about to take off from Gatwick airport, was picked up by their mobiles on its Wi-Fi servers.
As a result, the message immediately triggered alarm bells with security because of the sensitive words used.
Armed cops hauled him off the easyJet plane in handcuffs when it landed on the island and he spent two nights in police custody before going in front of a judge in Mahon.
He was released on an £8,600 bail and told he was free to leave Spain but would continue to be investigated by the Audiencia Nacional.
After returning home to Orpington with his parents Anand and Dipti Prasad, Aditya told Mail Online: “It was a moment of madness which I regret and I’m so sorry for the trouble I caused.
“It was a joke and I didn’t mean anything by it.
“I’m sorry for ruining my friends’ holiday but it was all just a joke and I didn’t mean to scare anyone on the plane if they were frightened by what happened.
“I sent the Snapchat message to my friends as we were boarding, it was a joke as we had been saying who was going to be stopped and searched by the security.
“The message said: “I’m going to blow this plane up. I’m a Taliban,” and now I just wish I hadn’t sent it.
“It was a stupid thing to do but I thought as it was a private Snapchat just my friends would see it.”
Before being allowed home after touching down in the UK, Aditya was taken aside and questioned for two hours by police and officials from MI6 and MI5 about things like his views on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
At the time of the incident, Aditya was being predicted to get double A star and an A in his Economics, History and Maths A levels.
Following his release from custody, he also said he had offers from “two good universities” – but denied reports one was Cambridge.
He told Mail Online at the time: “My old school say they will back me and reassure both places that I am not a terrorist and a sensible person. I won’t be doing anything silly again. I’ve learned my lesson.”
It was not immediately clear today what his A-level grades had been.
Aditya has, however, recently outlined plans to work in the finance sector.
“I aspire to work in the finance sector whilst also broadening my understanding of economics.”
In the aftermath of the incident, his mum said she thought it was “unlikely” the Spanish authorities would ask her son to pay back the cost of scrambling the fighter planes.
Aditya’s fate at his trial on Monday will be decided by a single professional judge and not a jury.
Provided there is no last-minute deal and the public hearing goes ahead, the judge is expected to reserve his judgement until a later date and announce it in a written ruling as is normal in Spain.
SolarpixAditya’s message immediately triggered alarm bells with security because of the sensitive words used whilst on airport wifi[/caption]
SolarpixHe spent two nights in police custody before going in front of a judge in Mahon[/caption]
SolarpixAditya was initially held at the airport after his flight landed[/caption]Leave a comment