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Iraq minister apologises after plane is ordered to turn back mid-flight to pick up his son

Published on Mar 10, 2014 12:08 AM

BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq's transport minister apologised on Sunday for a row in which a Lebanese airliner en route to Baghdad was ordered to turn back mid-flight to pick up his son.

Mr Hadi al-Ameri pledged to turn his son in if an Iraqi investigation found he had carried out any wrongdoing and insisted he would personally bear the costs of the Middle East Airlines flight having to turn around while travelling from Beirut to Baghdad.

"I ask you to forgive me for what happened," Mr Ameri said during a press conference at Baghdad airport in which he refused to take questions.

"The time when the sons of officials made mistakes and escaped punishment is over, and if the investigation proves my son made mistakes, I will present him to the courts myself," he added, referring to an Iraqi probe ordered by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

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