Criminal charges recommended against Boeing - reports

US prosecutors have recommended that the Justice Department (DOJ) brings criminal charges against Boeing, according to the BBC's US partner CBS.

It comes after the DOJ said the plane maker had violated a settlement related to two fatal crashes involving its 737 Max aircraft, which the firm denied.

Boeing declined to comment when contacted by the BBC about the prosecutors' recommendation.

The DOJ did not immediately respond to a BBC request for comment.

The recommendation is not a final decision and the details of any potential criminal action were not known, CBS said.

News of the recommended charges was first reported by the Reuters news agency.

The DOJ has until 7 July to make a final decision on whether to prosecute Boeing.

"This is a really critical decision that is coming up,” said Ed Pearson, who is the executive director of the Foundation for Aviation Safety and a former senior manager at Boeing.

"There are issues with these aeroplanes, we’re seeing problems with these planes and I’m talking about 737 Max, 787 and it is reflective of the leadership," he added.

The crashes - one in Indonesia in 2018 and another in Ethiopia in 2019 - killed a total of 346 people.

Last week, relatives of the victims urged prosecutors to seek a fine against Boeing of $25bn (£14.6bn) and pursue a criminal prosecution.

Under a deal reached in 2021, Boeing agreed to pay a $2.5bn settlement, while prosecutors agreed to ask the court to drop a criminal charge after a period of three years.

Last month, the DOJ said Boeing was in breach of the deal saying it had failed to "design, implement, and enforce a compliance and ethics program to prevent and detect violations of the US fraud laws throughout its operations."

Last week, Boeing's chief executive Dave Calhoun faced a grilling from US senators.

Mr Calhoun testified that the company had "learned" from past mistakes and that the process for employee whistleblowers "works" - but lawmakers still accused him of not doing enough to rectify a culture of retaliation.

As part of an ongoing investigation, Boeing whistleblowers told the Senate in April that the 737 Max, the 787 Dreamliner and the 777 models had serious production issues.

The company was most recently put in the spotlight when a door panel fell off a new 737 Max plane during an Alaska Airlines flight in January, leaving a gaping hole

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