Boeing may face criminal prosecution over 737 Max crashes, US says

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced that it is considering whether to blame Boeing for the two fatal 737 Max crashes.

The aerospace giant violated the terms of a 2021 settlement that shielded the company from criminal charges related to the incidents, the DOJ said.

Boeing denied breaching the contract.

The accidents – one in Indonesia in 2018 and another in Ethiopia in 2019 – killed a total of 346 people.

The aircraft manufacturer failed to “develop, implement and enforce a compliance and ethics program to prevent and detect violations of US fraud laws throughout its operations,” the DOJ said.

Boeing said it awaits an opportunity to respond to the Justice Department and “believes it will honor the terms of the agreement.”

Under the deal, Boeing paid a $2.5 billion (£1.98 billion) settlement, while prosecutors agreed to ask the court to drop criminal charges after three years.

The DoJ said Boeing has until June 13 to respond to the allegations and that what it says will be considered in its next steps.

The families of the victims demanded criminal proceedings against the company.

“This is a positive first step and for families for a long time. But we need to see more action from the DOJ to hold Boeing accountable,” Paul G Cassell, a lawyer for the victims’ families, said in a statement.

Boeing continued after careful reviews of the planes’ safety. unused door separated from the new 737 Max shortly after takeoff in January, leaving a gap on the side of the plane..

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