Cuba hijacker makes 1st US court appearance

AP News
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Posted: Nov 07, 2013 2:37 PM
Cuba hijacker makes 1st US court appearance

MIAMI (AP) — An American who returned to the U.S. from Cuba almost 30 years after hijacking an airliner to Havana has made his first appearance in a Miami federal court.

A judge on Thursday appointed a public defender to represent 56-year-old William Potts, who faces 20 years to life in prison if convicted of air piracy charges in the 1984 hijacking. The FBI says Potts used threats about explosives to hijack a New York-to-Miami flight to Havana.

At one point in Thursday's hearing, Potts sought to raise an objection but the judge cut him off.

Potts has already served more than 13 years in Cuban prison for the same crime. He says he decided to return to bring closure to the matter.

Potts faces an arraignment and bond hearing next Wednesday.