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Accused SFO-Bound Cockpit Intruder Arraignment Postponed

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A courtroom sketch of SFO flight cockpit storming suspect Rageh al-Murisi (Joan Lynch/CBS)

A courtroom sketch of SFO flight cockpit storming suspect Rageh al-Murisi (Joan Lynch/CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A Yemeni man’s arraignment on a federal charge of interfering with a flight crew on a San Francisco-bound American Airlines flight earlier this month was postponed Tuesday morning.

U.S. Magistrate Jacqueline Scott Corley rescheduled the arraignment of Rageh al-Murisi, 28, until Friday at 9:30 a.m.

Al-Murisi’s family retained attorney Christopher Morales on Monday, and Morales requested an opportunity to meet with al-Murisi, who doesn’t speak English, with the assistance of an interpreter before he is arraigned.

Morales said he hopes to meet today with al-Murisi, who is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail and has been indicted by a grand jury after he was arrested for allegedly ramming the cockpit door on the flight from Chicago on May 8.

The court has questioned al-Murisi’s mental health, and Morales said al-Murisi met with a doctor on Monday, but did not say whether his client has been evaluated yet.

Morales said he plans to enter a plea of not guilty on Friday and request al-Murisi’s release.

“This is not terrorism, he is not even charged with terrorism,” Morales said outside of court Tuesday. “He is not a danger. His family is baffled.”

The charge of interfering with a flight crew carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison upon conviction.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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