Harvard student charged in December bomb hoax

NEW YORK (AFP) - A Harvard student has been charged in a bomb hoax that forced the elite US university to evacuate four buildings, call in police and disrupt final exams, prosecutors said on Friday.

Eldo Kim, 21, is accused of emailing university police as well as the student-run newspaper last year, with a subject line that read "bombs placed around campus," according to a statement from United States Attorney Carmen Ortiz.

But he may never see a trial, as the government has asked for an 18-month deferral while Kim completes a "pretrial diversion program" that will include "home confinement for four months, payment of restitution to agencies that responded to Kim's bomb hoax, and 750 hours of community service.

"Kim has also agreed to make a public apology," the statement said.

If Kim abides by these terms, he will not be prosecuted.

The threats last December drew federal, state and local police immediately to the sprawling campus where witnesses tweeted of helicopters circling overhead. No bombs were discovered.

The Ivy League school is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It has about 21,000 students and dominates the Massachusetts town of Cambridge, near Boston. Boston was hit by two bomb attacks the previous April at its marathon, killing three people and wounding 260 in the first major terror attack on US soil since September 11, 2001.

Harvard was founded in 1636 and has educated current and former leaders from all over the world, including a long list of American presidents such as Barack Obama and John F. Kennedy.

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