Swire Group

Pilot rape claims unfounded

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 28 March, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 28 March, 2000, 12:00am

Police have launched a criminal intimidation inquiry into Web site postings that accused a Cathay Pacific pilot of raping a stewardess between flights.

A spokesman said yesterday that investigations into the claim, made on a now-defunct unofficial site for Cathay crew, had found no evidence of a sex crime.

The inquiry has now shifted focus from the pilot, whose full name and staff mailbox number were posted on the Net, to his accusers.

Contributors to the discussion site used nicknames to identify themselves, and it is believed police are trying to trace those linked to the rape claims through their Internet service providers.

'No evidence of rape has been found and no arrest made,' a police spokesman said.

'But police are investigating criminal intimidation towards the Cathay Pacific captain.' The Post reported in December that Cathay officials had called in police over claims a flight attendant was raped after a pilot forced his way into her hotel room after dinner with a group of airline staff.

The woman, who made the allegation anonymously, never came forward to police or the airline despite Cathay's offers of support and that part of the investigation was abandoned.

Postings on a new unofficial Internet forum for cabin crew say police had the original Web site shut down because of spurious allegations about the pilot. But a spokesman yesterday said the site's closure last month was coincidental.

'Police did not engage any pressure for the closure of the Web site - they decided to close it themselves,' he said.

The site disappeared without warning about five weeks ago, six months after rising to prominence when it published the answers to the cabin crew's annual safety exam.

Its creator agreed to quit Cathay over the scandal after being traced by company bosses and called in for a 'discussion'.

The site kept going and was later linked to the suicide of another flight attendant, who gassed herself after being caught selling her days off in breach of company policy.




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