Menu

US

Cuba hijacker set for initial US court appearance after his return to face charges

  • FILE - In this Oct. 25, 2013 file photo, U.S. citizen William Potts explains his arrest in Cuba during an interview at his home in Havana, Cuba. Potts says he is booked on a charter flight from Havana to Miami early Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013 and that he looks forward to getting "closure" by facing charges against him back home. Cuba convicted Potts of air piracy after hijacking a plane traveling from Newark to Miami in 1984, which landed in Cuba, where he spent over a decade in jail. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File)The Associated Press

  • U.S. citizen William Potts and his wife Aime Quesada say goodbye outside the U.S. Interests Section before he is escorted to the airport by U.S. officials in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. On Wednesday, nearly three decades after he forced an airliner to bring him to the Communist-run island, he was heading back to the U.S. and an uncertain legal future. FBI agents took the 56-year-old Potts into custody Wednesday shortly after his charter flight from Havana arrived at Miami International Airport. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)The Associated Press

  • U.S. citizen William Potts waits for a taxi to drive him to the U.S. Interest Section in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. On Wednesday, nearly three decades after he forced an airliner to bring him to the Communist-run island, he was heading back to the U.S. and an uncertain legal future. FBI agents took the 56-year-old Potts into custody Wednesday shortly after his charter flight from Havana arrived at Miami International Airport. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)The Associated Press

A man who returned to the U.S. from Cuba almost 30 years after hijacking an airliner to Havana is set to make his first appearance in Miami federal court.

The FBI arrested 56-year-old William Potts shortly after his charter plane landed Wednesday at Miami International Airport. Potts is to appear before a federal magistrate judge Thursday afternoon, where the main business is likely to be appointing him an attorney.

Potts faces 20 years to life in prison if convicted of U.S. air piracy charges in the 1984 hijacking. He already served more than 13 years in Cuba for the same offense.

Potts says he decided to return home to face up to the U.S. charges. He says he hopes for credit for the time in Cuban prison.