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US government to offer Boeing ‘sweetheart deal’, lawyer says

A lawyer representing victims of two fatal Boeing 737 Max crashes has told the BBC that the US government is preparing to offer the plane maker a “sweetheart plea deal”.

Paul Cassell, who says he got the information “directly from the Justice Department”, added that the deal includes a small fine, three years of probation and independent safety audits.

Boeing did not immediately reply to the BBC’s request for comment, while the Justice Department (DoJ) declined to provide a statement.

Last week, US prosecutors recommended that the DoJ bring criminal charges against the plane maker.

That was after the DoJ said Boeing had violated a 2021 settlement related to the crashes which killed 346 people.

“The memory of 346 innocents killed by Boeing demands more justice than this,” said Mr Cassell, adding that the “families will strenuously object to this plea deal”.

The plane crashes – both involving Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft – occurred within six months of each other.

The crash involving Indonesia’s Lion Air occurred in October 2018, followed by an Ethiopian Airlines flight in March 2019.

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