View Full Version : Bail for Greek air rage passenger

Miles Hi
18th Aug 2004, 11:39
This is taken from www.rte.ie

18 August 2004 10:04
An airline passenger who was given a jail sentence by a court in Galway after an air rage incident yesterday has been granted bail and is preparing to leave Ireland.

The district court handed down a three-month sentence to 36-year-old New York restaurant owner, Peter Genovezos, who had to be restrained by a US federal air marshal on board the Delta Airlines flight.

The plane, which was en route from New York to Athens, was diverted to Shannon Airport yesterday morning."

Isn't it amazing how this guy got handled so quickly, in comparison to the Aer Arann guys?

18th Aug 2004, 15:18
Somebody's going to have to help me understand the Irish system here. Did this guy plead guilty or something? If I understand the sequence of events, he committed the crime, was arrested, tried, sentenced, and then set free on bail pending appeal, all on the same day? How in the world does a prosecutor prepare a case in scant minutes? What about witnesses, etc.? Did the crew stay behind to testify?

This gives the idea that "justice delayed is justice denied" a whole new standard to meet. If governments are going to put a stop to this sort of behavior on aircraft, they're going to have to look like they're taking the whole thing more seriously than it appears was done here. Obviously I'm short on the facts (and I wish I wasn't), so don't read this as an indictment of Irish jurisprudence. But somebody throw me a bone here.

Dave :confused:

18th Aug 2004, 15:51
Unison reports

A NEW York restaurant manager who assaulted one passenger and racially abused others on a flight from New York to Athens was given a three-month jail sentence at Galway District Court yesterday.

Greek national Panagiotis Genovezos (36) was also rude and abusive to the captain of Delta Airlines Flight 120 from JFK airport in the early hours of yesterday morning and threatened a US Federal Air Marshal.

Mr Genovezos, of 87th Street, Brooklyn, who has worked in the US for more than 20 years, was drunk at the time and eventually had to be restrained by the air marshal.

The defendant pleaded guilty to three charges of being drunk on board an aircraft, engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour and causing serious offence or annoyance to the other passengers.

Air Marshal Mark C Bailer told the court that about an hour-and-a-half into the flight he was advised that one of the passengers was harassing others, calling them Jews and making vulgar statements.

When the captain approached Mr Genovezos, he said ":mad::mad::mad::mad::mad::mad: you" and referred to some of the men in front of him on the plane as "fags and homosexuals".

Air Marshal Bailer said he had been a law enforcement officer for 10 years and he recognised the accused as having slurred speech, red eyes and also had a strong smell of alcohol from his breath. The captain then diverted to Shannon.

When a passenger asked him to sit down, Mr Genovezos raised his elbow and struck him in the face. Mr Bailer had to restrain him. At Shannon, Mr Genovezos was handed over to gardai.

Mr Genovezos was sentenced to three months in jail and fined 300. However, later he was releaased on bail pending an appeal.

18th Aug 2004, 17:42
I expect that in such cases the airlines (and it seems the Air Marshal) realise the need to help the process however they can. The accused usually will want a speedy trial so they can be on their way. SNN being a diversion airport presumably has access to the court system on short notice.

Lou Scannon
18th Aug 2004, 18:48
This idiot, in adition to the Irish charges has committed a Federal Offence and may well face further proceedings when he returns to the US. He may also face a bill for the cost of the diversion that will be extracted from him in a civil court in the US.

I see that he has a restaurant. When his behaviour appears in the New York papers, some of the groups that he castigated on board the flight might well drop by to express their feelings.

He will live to regret his actions, more than he can ever believe at the moment.

18th Aug 2004, 19:30
I understand that the Irish Courts system is based on the UK's. In which case, he pleaded guilty only the brief facts need to be given. In the UK no witnesses would be called the facts would be given by the Crown Prosecuter. In which case the endless paper work as outlined by Av8boy is all unnessesary.

Its not lightly that he would be prosecuted again in the US for the same offence, double jepody is not a TV game show!

18th Aug 2004, 19:57
Comment has been made about how quickly this matter was dealt with. In the United Kingdom maritime matters used to be dealt with by the Court of Passage, a forum set up to deal with disputes involving vessels which needed to sail on time. Perhaps there should be a similar court for Aviation.

18th Aug 2004, 20:16
An airline passenger who was given a jail sentence by a court in Galway after an air rage incident yesterday has been granted bail and is preparing to leave Ireland.

...by sea, presumably. What airline is going to allow him to travel after that conviction?

I don't understand what double jeopardy has got to do with it. I'm not a lawyer, but the conviction was for the drunk and offensive behaviour on a civil aircraft. I can't see that that would prevent a further civil prosecution in the States by the airline to recover their costs based on that conviction?


18th Aug 2004, 20:56
I don't understand what double jeopardy has got to do with it. I'm not a lawyer, but the conviction was for the drunk and offensive behaviour on a civil aircraft. I can't see that that would prevent a further civil prosecution in the States by the airline to recover their costs based on that conviction?

Or try him on other offenses. That's one way to get around having jeopardy attach. (See US v. Rezaq where the defendant participated in a hijack which ended up in Malta. People were killed. The defandant was prosecuted in Malta for murder, attempted murder, and hostage-taking, but the United States prosecution was for air piracy). However, it's easier than that... The US Constitution's Double Jeopardy Clause... "does not prohibit sequential trials by different sovereigns."*

Of course, "air piracy" is a stretch on this one, so the US government will need to find some offense that allows use of a long-arm statute. This assumes he'll be prosecuted at all in the US. One can only hope.


*See United States v. Wheeler, 435 U.S. 313, 317, 98 S.Ct. 1079, 1082-83, 55 L.Ed.2d 303 (1978) (sequential prosecution in Indian tribal court and in federal court is not barred by the Double Jeopardy Clause); United States v. Richardson, 580 F.2d 946, 947 (9th Cir.1978) (per curiam) (applying this holding to sequential prosecutions in Guatemalan and United States courts).

18th Aug 2004, 21:49
He may be leaving Ireland but he's only on bail. He must return for the appeal and do his time if rejected, possibily in a Federal pen in the US if there is a reciprocal arrangement. If he doesn't return then he'll face extradition proceedings. He can contest that but I dare say there will be little sympathy from the US authorities.

Whatever happens he now has to face a nightmare of lots of legal fees and hassle.

He will definitely need a drink after that little lot.

Miles Hi
19th Aug 2004, 08:42
I remember another case in Ireland last Christmas, when a guy travelling from ORD was arrested on arival. He was a Chicago firefighter who worked a H24 shift, then went on the lash, then boarded a flight, ran amok, and was promptly dealt with in Dublin on arrival. He spent two days in jail, was released for Christmas day, and then went back to court shortly after. He was banned from EI (obviously), and the judge ruled that IATA be contacted and advised of this passengers details to restrict any future "International" travel. This left the guy with the ability to travel in the USA only. BTW, he got back via Moscow with Aeroflot.

20th Aug 2004, 20:06

Nothing in Double Jeapody prevents the airline from recovering losses through the civil courts. However it does prevent someone being tried for the SAME offence twice, or being punished twice for that offence. It would be like killing someone in your car in an accident, being convicted of causing death by dangerous driving, then on release being arrested and tried for manslaughter.

It appears the US system does not prevent that, although I have not delved into it that closely and it is more full of if buts and maybe's

21st Aug 2004, 20:35
Like I said, if we're talking more than one soverign, then it's not double jeopardy under US law. In this case, and assuming that there are long arm statutes that apply in the US, there is nothing to stop the US government from trying this person for exactly the same crime for which he was tried in Ireland. That's not double jeopardy.

22nd Aug 2004, 22:10

I am struggling my way through that, but it seems that you may not be 100% right. I accept your two soveriegns bit, but it seems that from what I have read (and from exprience)you may be slightly wrong.

I think (and this is from memory) the Chicargo convention allows new legislation in all countries that signed it to pass legislation giving juristiction over offences on aircraft registered in other countries subject to certain carveats.

In the UK this led to the Civil aviation amendments act.

One of those conditions being that they person can be charged with an offence in the country of first landing, provided there was a similar offence in the country of registration.

The first arrival being in the ROI, then it may be being charged there, (the first landing) that then relives the US of any juristiction

of course if you are right about it, then say a pilot arrested and convicted in the Uk for being unfit through drink or drugs to fly, could on arrival in the US be arrested by the Police there and convicted on exactly the same evidence. I doubt the US courts would see that in any other way than double jeapody and against the rules of natural justice.

Perhaps you could explain 'Long arm Statues' as that one's beyond me

23rd Aug 2004, 16:45
I've got to take a little more time to explore this. Excellent points though...

In the mean time, I'd just mention the following... I don't think the Chicago Convention actually speaks to this. Rather, I believe it would be the Tokyo Convention and post-1963 activity. Article 16 of the Tokyo Convention says, in part, "Offences committed on aircraft registered in a Contracting State shall be treated, for the purpose of extradition, as if they had been committed not only in the place in which they have occurred but also in the territory of the State of registration of the aircraft." (my emphasis). Again, I don't think that this is necessarily dispositive (especially since it refers to extradition), but I believe we're on the right track. Then there's the question of how US law will be applied, regardless of whether or not it comports with treaty... THERE's a can of worms...

I'll spend a little time reading and make my argument in a bit. ;)