Australian ‘hijacker’ could be deported from Bali

An Australian man who allegedly caused a hijacking scare aboard a Virgin Australia flight could be deported without charges.

Matt Christopher Lockley, 28, has told Bali police he took only Panadol, Voltaren and Coca-Cola before flying from Brisbane to Denpasar on Friday.

The Queensland plumber sparked hijacking fears when he banged on the cockpit door.

He was observed as aggressive, drunk and “paranoid” during the mid-air commotion.

Witnesses have reported he was asking for medication and denied being drunk.

He was restrained at the rear of the aircraft and didn’t put up a fight when officers arrested him on arrival at Denpasar airport.

Lockley was on Saturday taken to a Bali hospital where police learned he was being treated for a medical condition.

Before leaving Brisbane he had only: “two Voltaren, four Panadol and two cans of Coca-Cola,” police said.

He was travelling to Bali in search of his Indonesian wife, whom he hasn’t seen in two weeks, police spokesman Hery Wiyanto said.

“We will question him again after his health has returned,” he said, describing Lockley’s state as “exhausted”.

Police also intend to question the flight crew and pilots.

Rudi Richardo, aviation security section chief in Bali told reporters on Saturday that officers were liaising with police about how to handle Lockley’s case.

Under international conventions, the plane could be considered in Australia’s jurisdiction and Lockley deported to Australia’s authority, he said.

He had been visited by friends and consular staff, and police were not treating him as a hijacking suspect.

Indonesian authorities are also investigating how the false hijacking signal was sent.

They approached the aircraft with caution believing there was a hijacker on board and the busy tourist airport was shut down briefly as a result.

A Virgin Australia spokesman said the hijacking scare was a “miscommunication”.

The airline says the safety of its aircraft was never in question.

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