Closed hearing sought for man accused of disrupting flight

(Image: Hawaii News Now)
(Image: Hawaii News Now)
Updated: Sep. 20, 2017 at 5:29 AM HST
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HONOLULU (AP) - An attorney defending a man accused of inflight behavior that prompted military fighter jets to escort an airplane wants a hearing on his mental competency and detention to be closed to the public.

Richard Sing, a lawyer for Anil Uskanli, filed the motion Monday in Honolulu.

It was granted Tuesday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Kenneth Mansfield. The Associated Press objected.

Mansfield scheduled another hearing for Thursday to explore whether to completely close the proceeding or make arrangements that will balance public rights to court access and Uskanli's privacy.

Uskanli was charged with interfering with a flight crew after authorities said he tried to get to the front of the plane during an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu.

Crewmembers feared his laptop contained explosives.

He has not entered a plea.

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