Kuala Lumpur Post


US pushes for Boeing to plead guilty over fatal crashes

WASHINGTON — The US justice department is pushing for Boeing to plead guilty to a criminal charge after finding the planemaker violated a settlement over fatal 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people, two people familiar with the matter said on Sunday.

The justice department is expected to formally offer the plea agreement to Boeing later in the day, the sources said.

Spokesmen for Boeing and the justice department declined to comment.

US justice department officials revealed their decision to victims’ family members during a call earlier on Sunday. The plea deal would require Boeing to plead guilty to conspiring to defraud the US Federal Aviation Administration in connection with the fatal crashes, the sources said.

The agreement would also impose an independent monitor to audit Boeing’s safety and compliance practices for three years, they said.

Justice department officials plan to give Boeing until the end of the week to respond to the offer, which they initially will present as nonnegotiable, the sources said. Should Boeing refuse to plead guilty, prosecutors plan to take the company to trial, they said. — Reuters