Iraqi minister speaks out on plane-landing denial

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BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's transportation minister is speaking out after a flight that his son missed out of Beirut was stopped from landing in Baghdad.

Minister Hadi al-Amiri told a news conference Sunday that he'd pay for the losses out of his own pocket and would hand his son over to authorities if the investigation proved he was behind the Middle East Airline flight being stopped from landing on Thursday.

The airline says the flight left six minutes late because it waited for al-Amiri's son.

Twenty minutes after the plane's departure, the head of MEA in Baghdad contacted the pilot, saying that Iraqi authorities would not allow the plane to land at Baghdad International Airport without al-Amiri's son on board. The plane, carrying 71 passengers, returned to Beirut.

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