Oh no, it seems like Malaysia Airlines (MAS) is under fire over an alleged in-flight sexual assault case.
A 28-year-old Australian woman known as Laura Bushney claimed that she was sexually assaulted by a chief steward on a Kuala Lumpur-Paris (MH20) flight on 4th August 2014. The victim has filed a lawsuit under the Montreal Convention against MAS for more than AUD200,000 (approximately RM616,000) at the Federal Court of Western Australia.
According to Bushney’s statement, the incident happened after she informed the cabin crew of her fear of flying and her alleged attacker, Chief Steward Mohd Rosli Ab Karim, promised to “check on her” during the trip. She claimed that Rosli started sexually assaulting her from rubbing her legs, stomach, and thighs to putting his hands inside her pants and touching her genitalia over the 13-hour flight. The suspect then walked away after Bushney said that she was physically sick.
Immediately after arriving at Charles de Gaulle Airport, France, Bushney, then 26 years old, reported the assault to a MAS official. Though she was told that “there would be repercussions against her if the allegations were false”, she proceeded with the report anyway.
After a DNA testing and several months of investigation, the French authorities charged Rosli with indecent assault, who is currently on bail in France awaiting trial after allegedly confessing to the crime. MAS terminated his employment 2 weeks after the incident, and on 25th August 2015, Bushney spoke out about her ordeal on Channel Seven’s Sunday Night (SN) programme, an Australian TV show.
Bushney also claimed that she suffered several “bodily injuries” including genital trauma and redness, abrasions, physical manifestations from the shock of the assault including tears and sleeplessness, racing heart, nausea, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Malaysiakini reported that besides the RM616,000 compensation allowed under the first tier of the Montreal Convention, she is also seeking interest on damages, costs and interest on costs, as well as “further or other relief that the court considers just”.
You can watch excerpts of Bushney’s interview with SN below:
MAS has yet to provide a statement in response to her claim.