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September 23, 2017

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Finnish man in Hong Kong court after midair 'chocolate sword threat'

HONG KONG--A Finnish passenger accused of making a hoax bomb threat on a Cathay Pacific flight wielded a chocolate bar like a sword and demanded that the plane be diverted so he could attend the Winter Olympics, a report said Friday.

Antti Oskari Manselius, 23, appeared in a Hong Kong court on Thursday charged with disorderly behavior on an aircraft and for "communicating false information as to the existence of a bomb" during the Amsterdam-Hong Kong flight on Feb. 14.

The court heard that he armed himself with a large Toblerone chocolate bar and told flight attendants he was "robbing" the plane, demanding that they divert to the Russian resort of Sochi where the Olympics were taking place, the South China Morning Post reported.

Manselius, who was said to have approached the cockpit around six hours into the flight, pleaded not guilty claiming that he was only making "fun and jokes," the Post said.

"He said, I am robbing the plane now. I want to see the Olympics in Sochi and I need to get off the plane now," Leung Hiu-lun, a 37-year-old flight attendant, told the court.

"He made me feel like he was trying to endanger the aircraft," Leung said.

The flight attendant added that Manselius made a bomb threat, but the crew — believing he was mentally unstable and was joking — did not search the plane.

Leung's colleague Luk Ka-chun told the court Manselius held the Toblerone bar "like a sword"

The passenger was ordered back to his seat and his hands and legs were cuffed, the court heard. He was arrested when the plane landed in Hong Kong.

The trial has previously heard that Manselius suffers from mental health problems and that he was transferred to a psychiatric facility after his arrest, the Post said.

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