Two members of a family of 11 jazz musicians who attempted to hijack an Aeroflot jetliner last March will go on trial for anti-state terrorism Sept. 6, the official Izvestia newspaper said Friday.
Olga and Igor Oveshkin will go on trial in the Siberian city of Irkutsk. They are accused of staging the abortive hijacking on March 8 in which nine people, including five of the 11 hijackers, were killed. If convicted, they could face the death penalty.Two other family members were not old enough to stand trial, and "the others were either killed or committed suicide," Izvestia said.
The plane, with 76 passengers, was on a flight from Irtkutsk to Leningrad when the Oveshkins, who smuggled weapons aboard in instrument cases, demanded to be flown to the West. The crew attempted to dupe them into believing they were in Finland, but the plane actually landed at a military airfield outside Leningrad, where an anti-terrorist squad was waiting. When the hijackers discovered the ruse, a shoot-out erupted and the plane's tail section was torn apart by an explosion.