US Justice Department Offers Boeing Guilty Plea After Two Deadly Crashes – rts.ch

US Justice Department Offers Boeing Guilty Plea After Two Deadly Crashes – rts.ch
US Justice Department Offers Boeing Guilty Plea After Two Deadly Crashes – rts.ch

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) will offer Boeing a guilty plea for breaching a settlement reached after two crashes that killed 346 people, thereby avoiding a trial, a lawyer for victims’ families said on Sunday, expressing his disagreement.

“The offer made to Boeing by the DoJ is to plead guilty to an ongoing criminal charge (filed in 2021) for conspiracy to defraud the FAA,” the US air transport regulator, said Paul Cassell, a law professor at the University of Utah and a lawyer for families in the criminal case.

The announcement was made Sunday to the victims’ families and their attorneys during a two-hour meeting. The appointment of a supervisor and the imposition of a fine were also discussed, according to a statement from the attorneys. “The families will vigorously oppose this agreement,” Cassell warned.

The final word to the Texas federal judge

Boeing declined to comment at this time. It will ultimately be up to the federal judge in Texas who is presiding over the case to decide. “He will have to decide whether to approve a federal regulation that ties his hands at sentencing and prevents him from imposing additional punishment or remedial measures,” the lawyer said.

A department official “admitted that there was strong interest from the families in going to court, but he repeatedly said that the DoJ could not prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt,” the law firm said.

Avoid a trial

The deal is intended to allow Boeing to avoid a criminal trial that could result in a conviction that could bar it from U.S. government and military contracts, which generated nearly a third of its revenue in 2023.

Boeing entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with U.S. authorities on January 7, 2021, including a $2.5 billion penalty and three years of probation.

But the Justice Department reported in mid-May that Boeing had failed to meet its obligations, a claim the planemaker disputes.

>> To read: Boeing breached deal to avoid prosecution over two crashes

A multitude of problems

Boeing has been experiencing production and quality control problems on three of its four commercial planes currently in production since early 2023. The in-flight incident on an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX 9 on January 5, when a door cap came loose, was too much.

Under the 2021 agreement, the manufacturer admitted to committing fraud during the certification of its 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which was involved in two fatal accidents that killed 346 people in 2018 and 2019. The aircraft was grounded for 20 months in the United States and around the world.

>> See the subject of 7:30 p.m. on April 18:

Before the US Senate, whistleblowers denounced serious safety problems at the aircraft manufacturer Boeing / 7:30 p.m. / 2 min. / April 18, 2024

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