6 Nov 2004

PNG court adjourns hearing in case of Bougainville plane

5:37 am on 6 November 2004

A court in Papua New Guinea has adjourned a hearing into the case of an Australian businessman whose plane landed without authority on the island of Bougainville.

Andrew Reid and his Australian pilot Peter McGee have been charged with operating an aircraft in a careless manner and being engaged in dangerous activity involving an aircraft.

The plane landed at the disused airport of Aropa last month.

The adminstrator of Bougainville alleges the aircraft had been carrying a consignment of guns intended for rebels in the area.

The plane has since been taken to Rabaul whilst authorities investigate the illegal landing.

The Waigani District Court now says the plane will remain grounded as civil aviation officials need more time to complete their investigations.

The hearing has been adjourned until November 18th.