Boeing must appear in US court to be charged in fatal 737 crash

BREAKING NEWS: Boeing is ordered to appear in a US court on felony charges over two 737 MAX crashes that killed 346 after the judge overturned the $2.5 billion immunity deal

  • U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ordered Boeing to appear in court on January 26 to face felony charges in 2021
  • Boeing had previously fought for impunity
  • But O’Connor ruled in October that the victims of two Boeing 737 MAX crashes legally qualify as “crime victims.”

Executives at Boeing, one of the world’s largest airplane manufacturers, are due to appear in court next week over two deadly crashes.

US District Judge Reed O’Connor on Thursday ordered the company to appear in court on January 26 to face charges of a 2021 felony after the families of those killed in the crashes objected to a had raised a plea deal.

Boeing had gained immunity from prosecution under a $2.5 billion deferred prosecution agreement and was instead charged with fraud conspiracy related to the flawed design of the 737 MAX.

But O’Connor, of Texas, ruled in October that people killed in the two Boeing 737 MAX crashes legally qualify as “crime victims,” ​​and family members had urged him to demand that Boeing be brought to justice for the crime is provided.

Boeing was ordered Thursday to appear in court next week to face criminal charges

Boeing was ordered Thursday to appear in court next week to face criminal charges

Investigators from the U.S. National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) examine debris at the crash site of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 March 12, 2019

Investigators from the U.S. National Transportation and Safety Board (NTSB) examine debris at the crash site of Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 March 12, 2019

The families had argued that the Justice Department “lied and violated their rights through a secret process” and asked Reed to waive Boeing’s immunity from the criminal justice system.

He said Thursday any “legal representative” of the crash victims who wants to speak at the trial next week must say so.

But both Boeing and the Justice Department have long opposed a resumption of the agreement, under which the planemaker would pay $500 million in victim compensation, a $243.6 million fine and $1.7 billion in compensation. distributed dollars to airlines.

In a November court filing, the Justice Department said it did not oppose indictment of Boeing, but said rescinding the agreement “would inflict serious hardship on the parties and the many victims who received compensation.”

Boeing also said in court filings that it is opposing any efforts to reopen the agreement, calling it “unprecedented, unworkable and unfair.”

DailyMail.com has reached out to Boeing for comment.

Relatives of crash victims mourn at the site where the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 passenger plane crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 on board

Relatives of crash victims mourn at the site where the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8 passenger plane crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 on board

Forensic teams and workers are pictured March 12, 2019 recovering debris from a Boeing Max flight that crashed outside of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia

Forensic teams and workers are pictured March 12, 2019 recovering debris from a Boeing Max flight that crashed outside of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia

Officials examine victims recovered from the Lion Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea in October 2018

Officials examine victims recovered from the Lion Air jet that crashed into the Java Sea in October 2018

The first Max crashed in Indonesia in October 2018, killing 189 people, and another crashed in Ethiopia five months later, killing 157.

For almost two years, all Max jets worldwide were grounded.

They were cleared to fly again after Boeing overhauled an automated flight control system that was mistakenly activated in both crashes.

The Justice Department agreed not to prosecute the company for conspiracy to defraud the government under the 2021 agreement.

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Emma Colton

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