Man faces 3 charges over alleged attempt to bring explosive material onto plane

MONTREAL – A 71-year-old Iranian-born man with a legally altered name faces three criminal charges in connection with an alleged attempt to bring explosive material onto an airplane.

He was charged today over the incident, which paralyzed Montreal’s main airport yesterday for several hours and caused a neighbourhood to be shut down for a police search.

The defence lawyer tells reporters that his client was transporting a bag belonging to someone else.

A bail hearing is scheduled tomorrow for Antony Piazza, who was born in Iran and whose name was originally Houshang Nazemi. It was under that original moniker that he received a 10-year sentence for drug trafficking in the mid-1980s.

He made a brief court appearance today, where the Crown objected to his release.

He faces three charges — being in possession of an explosive substance; conspiracy to transport an explosive substance on an airplane; and endangering the safety of an airport or aircraft.

The Crown says the mischief charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail.

Police say the material found in luggage at a Montreal airport terminal contained everything needed to make a bomb — except the actual explosives.

The suspicious package was spotted at a security checkpoint in the U.S. departures area of Trudeau airport early Sunday morning.

But defence lawyer Louis Morena says he was holding the carry-on bag for someone else.

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