Jurors Mulls Fate of Phony Pilot
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NEW YORK (AP) _ Jurors deliberated for a second day Thursday in the case of an Egyptian man who flew to Kennedy International Airport in mid-September with a fake pilot’s uniform and license.
Wael Abdel Rahman Kishk is accused of lying to investigators and carrying forged documents, including a fake Federal Aviation Administration document giving him medical clearance to fly. If convicted, he could face up to five years in prison.
Kishk held a valid U.S. visa when he was stopped by immigration agents Sept. 19.
But in closing arguments, prosecutor Dwight Holton told jurors Kishk repeatedly lied to authorities about his plan to attend aviation school and insisted he was bound for business school before admitting he wanted to train as a pilot.
Defense attorney Michael Schneider told the jury the FAA document was nothing more than a crude forgery, full of misspellings, which his client crafted to impress a girlfriend.
``If he intended to pass it off as genuine, wouldn’t he have proofread it?″ the lawyer said.
The government has conceded it has no evidence Kishk was party to the terrorist plot. But prosecutors argue that he appeared to fit the profile of the men who turned jetliners into weapons of mass destruction on Sept. 11, making his crimes more serious.