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Handing Lion a Line

Italian Painter and Indonesian Wife Arrested in Connection with Bomb Threat Made Against Bali-bound Flight

(2/15/2013) Italian expatriate Andrea Giovanni Soreti and his wife Umaya have been taken into custody by police, suspected of telephoning a bomb threat to a Jakarta-Yogyakarta-Denpasar (Bali) Lion Air flight on Sunday, October 14, 2012.

The 48-year-old painter was arrested on Wednesday, October 17th by a joint team from the Yogya and Bali police by officers at his home on Jalan Iman Bonjol in Denpasar that he shares with his wife and child. Soretni is identified as a native of Milan.

Police are determining whether or not the Italian can be charged in connection  with angry telephone calls to Lion Air staff  suggesting a bomb was on board Lion Air JT 568 flying from Jakarta to Bali via Yogyakarta, Prior to the incident precipitating his arrest, Giovanni’s Indonesian wife was reportedly denied boarding on the flight.

According to police two separate phone calls were made to Lion Air staff on the Sunday alleging a bomb was in a bag on JT 568 flying from Yogyakarta to Bali. The calls caused the grounding of the flight for several hours at Adisucipto Airport in Yogyakarta while police and bomb squad members swept the plan seeking an explosive device. No bomb was discovered in the search. A second precautionary search was also conducted on the plane when it arrived in Bali.

Prior to the telephone threat, Giovanni’s wife was unable to board the flight. The threats received by Lion Air staff were eventually traced to a cell phone held by the Italian.
 
Police continue to investigate the case.

It is not clear what connection, if any, the man arrested by police in the Lion Air bombing threat has with the then 38-year-old Italian, with the same name and also identified as being from Milan, who was apprehended by police in 2002 for questioning following the Sari Club bombing.