Indonesia jails crash pilot

An Indonesian court has sentenced an airline pilot to two years in jail for negligence in an air crash in 2007 that killed 21 people.

Prosecutors had said Garuda Indonesia captain Marwoto Komar, who had 22 years of flying experience, ignored warnings from his co-pilot and onboard alert signals about the plane's speed and trajectory when landing the aircraft with 140 people on board.

The Boeing 737 bounced and skidded off the runway at Yogyakarta airport before bursting into flames in a rice field.

"The defendant was found legitimately and convincingly guilty of negligence," said Sri Andini, the head of a panel of five judges at the court in Sleman, near Yogyakarta on Java island.

Komar had denied the charges against him, and told reporters previously he had tried to avoid the accident. Prosecutors had sought a four-year jail term.

Indonesia has suffered a string of airline disasters in recent years, raising concerns about safety and prompting the European Union to ban all Indonesian airlines from its airspace.

The case also triggered airline industry protests over the use of a criminal court to punish the pilot.

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