WUHAN, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- A man who called in a false bomb threat to stop a creditor from collecting his debt went on trial on Wednesday in central China's Hubei Province.
Prosecutors accused Xiong Yi of fabricating a terrorist threat and demanded a prison sentence of more than five years, according to the High-Tech Industrial Zone Court of the city of Xiangyang.
Xiong, a 29-year-old native of the city of Dongguan in south China's Guangdong Province, made an anonymous phone call to the Shenzhen Airport on Aug. 30, claiming that explosives would be detonated aboard a Shenzhen Airlines flight 45 minutes after takeoff.
The plane, bound for Shenzhen from Xiangyang, was forced to make an emergency landing. Police found no dangerous items on board after inspecting the plane.
Prosecutors said the incident caused around 200,000 yuan (31,920 U.S.dollars) in direct economic losses.
Xiong told the court that he had a great deal of regret for his act and apologized to the public.
The trial lasted for a single hour. A verdict has yet to be announced.
Xiong made the threat with the knowledge that his creditor, a man also surnamed Xiong, would fly to Shenzhen to collect on the former Xiong's debt of 240,000 yuan, according to the prosecutors
The creditor previously bought a Land Rover from Xiong but later returned the car and asked for a replacement or refund, as he had problems obtaining a license for the car.
Three Chinese airlines have received threatening calls since late August, disrupting flight schedules and irritating passengers.
Aviation and legal experts have urged tougher penalties for people who make false threats that result in flight delays or cancellations.