ICAO report: Belarus has issued a false bomb threat to force RYANAIR to land in Minsk!
On May 24, 2021, under the false pretense of a bomb threat, Belarusian authorities forced a RYANAIR plane to land in Minsk. ICAO has sent a preliminary report on the "hijacking" of the Boeing 737-800 RYANAIR aircraft by the Belarussian authorities, which revealed that the threat was false, the control on board was superficial and the pilots were forced to change course. flight without facilitating communication with the Irish base.
The purpose of the "hijacking" was to arrest the dissident Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega.
The report, sent to the 193 ICAO member states on Monday, says Belarussian authorities have failed to properly contact Ireland-based Ryanair in connection with the alleged bomb threat, despite regulations urging them to do so, and have not helped the crew talk to their base.
The pilots agreed to divert to Minsk after a Belarusian air traffic controller declared a "red code", indicating a credible threat to the aircraft requiring an immediate landing. Ryanair is unlikely to have agreed to declare a "red code" in these circumstances, the report said, concluding that the bomb threat was "deliberately false". No person or state has been identified as the source of this threat.
The ICAO report also shows that Belarus hid evidence and did not cooperate properly with international investigators. Records from that day were not kept, although investigations were ongoing. Belarus also refused to give the Ryanair flight controller access to officials' call recordings, nor did it provide footage from well-placed airport cameras.
Not even the email with the alleged threat was provided, with Belarus providing only a screenshot. Following the verification, it was established that an email with the alleged threat was sent after the RYANAIR plane landed in Minsk. Belarus says the email was received 30 minutes before the "red code" was launched.
The report is to be analyzed by ICAO Member States, including RYANAIR.