Kenyan court jails Ethiopian for bomb joke on airplane

Chifraye Bekele’s joke caused panic among staff and passengers, and also led to the cancellation of the Johannesburg-bound Kenya Airways flight./ Getty

An Ethiopian man has been sentenced to four months in prison for joking about a bomb after boarding a plane in Kenya, local Daily Nation newspaper reports.

Chifraye Bekele’s joke caused panic among staff and passengers, and also led to the cancellation of the Johannesburg-bound Kenya Airways flight in April.

The incident prompted a three-hour shut-down of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in the Kenyan capital Nairobi.

Bekele was handed the sentence by a Nairobi court which found him guilty of “imperilling the safety of aircraft and persons on board”.

The Ethiopian is reported to have made the joke to a flight attendant after boarding was complete. The flight attendant consulted with her colleagues and informed the captain, before security authorities at the airport were alerted.

All the passengers were asked to disembark as the plane was searched, resulting in the cancellation of the flight.

Bekele was arrested and taken into custody and has been in detention since.