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Instead comes oversight: Report: Boeing Avoids Criminal Proceedings

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Instead comes supervision
Report: Boeing Avoids Criminal Charges

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Troubled US planemaker Boeing will not face criminal proceedings, five years after two 737 Max jets crashed. The U.S. Justice Department is proposing independent oversight instead, insiders say. Otherwise the company will go bankrupt.

The U.S. Justice Department is proposing to suspend prosecution of planemaker Boeing after two 737 Max planes crashed, killing a total of 346 people. To this end, an independent oversight commission should be appointed to the group, the New York Times reported, citing sources close to the discussions.

Accordingly, high-ranking representatives of the ministry consider an investigation to be “legally highly dangerous”. Ministry officials believe appointing an independent regulator would be the “fastest and most effective” way to ensure Boeing improves its manufacturing processes and quality control, the newspaper said.

A total of 346 people were killed in two 737 MAX crashes in Indonesia in October 2018 and Ethiopia in March 2019. The Justice Department said in May that Boeing could be sued again as a result. It said the agreement with US authorities to stop the investigation from early 2021 is no longer valid because Boeing has breached its obligations. This was rejected by the company.

Critical to America’s national security

The Justice Department must now take a stand and has promised to report its decision on handling the case to a federal judge in Texas by July 7. The ministry declined to comment on the report. Criminal cases often require defendant companies to file for bankruptcy. Boeing is an important company to the US economy and national security.

Recently, several technical problems with Boeing aircraft have caused uncertainty. Earlier this year, part of the cabin wall of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft broke off during flight. The plane had to make an emergency landing. The FAA then issued a temporary ban on flights for the 737 MAX in January.

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun vowed to do better in a hearing before a US Senate committee on Tuesday. “Our culture is not perfect, but we are taking action and moving forward,” he said. Calhoun apologized to the families of those killed in crashes in 2018 and 2019.

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