South Australia/Adelaide Now, JORDANNA SCHRIEVER, COURT REPORTER
Not that it hasn’t been tried before…
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A FORMER Turkish soldier living in South Australia on a student visa allegedly has shone a laser pointer at a Qantas jet above Willunga, temporarily blinding its pilot.
Irfan Bozan, 26, appeared in the Christies Beach Magistrates Court today charged with endangering life, prejudicing the safe operation of an aircraft and carrying an offensive weapon.
Outside court, police told AdelaideNow that Bozan had caused temporary blindness to the pilot at about 7.40pm last night as he was coming in to land at Adelaide Airport.
The pilot was flying at 7000ft above WillungaÂ when the beam was directed at the plane’s cockpit.
PoliceÂ will allege in court that Bozan, who came to Australia eight months ago, was shining the light while a passenger in a car driven by his co-defendant, Mehmet Akyildiz.
They will allege he served with the Turkish army reserves for 15 months while living in Turkey.
Speaking outside court, Akyildiz told AdelaideNow he had bought the laser while in Thailand and did not realise it was considered an offensive weapon in Australia.
“We didn’t know that it was illegal… we thought it was a toy,” Akyildiz said.
“I know it can burn through eyes… we were just pointing it at trees and stuff.
“We didn’t point it at no planes or cars, we just pointed it at the open air, trees and signs.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen to him. I don’t know what to do.”
In court John Mattner, for Bozan, said his client did not realise the laser would cause any harm.
“He thought it was a toy and he didn’t think he was doing any harm.”
He said due to the serious nature of the charges and the need for a Turkish interpreter, it would be more appropriate for Bozan to access Legal Aid before applying for bail.
Magistrate Simon Milazzo remanded Bozan in custody until September.
Akyildiz faces the same charges as Bozan, but was given police bail to first appear in court on a separate date in September.
AdelaideNow is unable to publish comment on this story for legal reasons.