• Wednesday, Dec 01, 2021
  • Last Update : 05:29 am

Bomb threat cited by Belarus was sent after plane was diverted, says Swiss email provider

  • Published at 07:55 pm May 27th, 2021
Belarus
File Photo: A Ryanair aircraft, which was carrying Belarusian dissident journalist Roman Protasevich and diverted to Belarus, where authorities detained him, lands at Vilnius Airport in Vilnius, Lithuania on Sunday, May 23, 2021 Reuters

European leaders are drawing up new sanctions against Belarus over Sunday's incident

A bomb threat cited by Belarusian authorities as the reason for forcing a Ryanair jetliner carrying a dissident journalist to land in Minsk was sent after the plane was diverted, privacy-focused email provider Proton Technologies AG said on Thursday.

The Belarusian authorities said they ordered the plane, which was in Belarusian airspace on its way from Greece to Lithuania, to land in the Belarusian capital on Sunday because of a bomb threat from the Islamist militant group Hamas.

Journalist Roman Protasevich and his girlfriend Sofia Sapega were arrested when the plane landed.

Hamas denied having any knowledge or connection to any bomb threat, and European leaders have accused Belarus of state-sponsored piracy.


Also Read - Belarus leader says detained journalist was plotting 'bloody rebellion'


On Wednesday, the London-based research group Dossier Center published a report what it said was an email carrying the purported Hamas threat. 

The email was sent 24 minutes after the Belarusian authorities warned the plane's crew there was a bomb threat, it showed.

The email's timing was first reported by the Daily Beast.

Proton declined to comment on specifics of the message but confirmed it was sent after the plane was diverted.

"We haven't seen credible evidence that the Belarusian claims are true," the Swiss company said in a statement. "We will support European authorities in their investigations upon receiving a legal request."

European leaders are drawing up new sanctions against Belarus over Sunday's incident.


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