A man accused of a leaving a fake bomb at Dunedin Airport in the days following the Christchurch mosque attacks will stand trial this week.
Preetam Prakash Maid, 32, has pleaded not guilty to a charge under the Aviation Crimes Act and a jury of eight women and four men has been empanelled before the High Court at Dunedin this morning.
The defendant – a former employee of the airport - is charged with taking an imitation explosive device into a security-enhanced area on March 17 last year, a charge which carries a maximum penalty of five years' imprisonment.
After the item was found, the airport was closed, an international flight was turned back to Australia and domestic flights were diverted.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Defence Force personnel from Christchurch "neutralised" the device.
Judge Michael Crosbie told the jury that the Crown would not be calling witnesses who saw Maid – then a member of the Aviation Security Service - commit the alleged crime.
The case, he said, was circumstantial and prosecutors would seek to weave together pieces of evidence to form a case against the defendant.
Crown prosecutor Robin Bates will soon address the jury before defence counsel Deborah Henderson makes a brief opening statement.
The trial before Judge Crosbie is expected to last at least two weeks.