Venezuelan charged over grenade on jet

Paul Peachey@peachey_paul
Tuesday 18 February 2003 01:00

A Venezuelan man arrested at Gatwick Airport for allegedly carrying a hand grenade in his luggage was remanded in custody when he appeared in court yesterday.

Hasil Mohammed Rahaham-Alan was stopped by Customs officers on Thursday after arriving from Caracas, Venezuela, on a British Airways flight.

The north terminal at Gatwick was evacuated and closed for several hours and many flights delayed or cancelled following his arrest.

Mr Rahaham-Alan, 37, was questioned over the weekend by detectives from Scotland Yard's anti-terrorist branch before appearing yesterday at Bow Street magistrates court, central London. He was charged with possession of an explosive, possession of an article for terrorist purposes, and carrying a dangerous item on a flight.

Mr Rahaham-Alan, bearded with long hair and dressed in a baggy blue jumper, sat in the dock flanked by a police officer and a Spanish interpreter for the five-minute hearing. He stood and spoke in a barely audible voice as he gave his full name and date of birth to the court and gave an address in Caracas, Venez-uela. His lawyer, Peter Corrigan, said he could understand the proceedings in English but the interpreter would clarify anything if necessary.

There was no application for bail and the charges were transferred to the Old Bailey where he will next appear on 24 February.

In a separate hearing, Karim Kadouri, 33, an Algerian was yesterday jailed for four months for having a fake passport after being arrested in November under the Terrorism Act.