Ryanair CEO says Belarus plane grounding 'state-sponsored piracy'

by Reuters
Monday, 24 May 2021 07:50 GMT

DUBLIN, May 24 (Reuters) - A decision by authorities in Belarus to force a Ryanair jet to land in Minsk on Sunday and detain a dissident journalist was a "state-sponsored hijacking", Ryanair Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said.

"This was a case of state-sponsored hijacking ... state-sponsored piracy," O'Leary told Irish Newstalk radio.

"It appears the intent of the authorities was to remove a journalist and his travelling companion ... we believe there were some KGB agents offloaded at the airport as well," he said.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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