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    Dec 19, 2013

    Harvard student sent bomb threats 'to avoid exam'


    A HARVARD University student was charged by US prosecutors with e-mailing bomb threats that spurred the evacuation of four of the school's buildings during final exams.

    Eldo Kim, 20, of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is charged with a single count of making a bomb hoax, a crime punishable by as long as five years in prison and a US$250,000 (S$314,600) fine, US Attorney Carmen Ortiz said in a statement on Tuesday.

    Kim was scheduled to appear before US Magistrate Judge Judith Dein in Boston yesterday. He will be represented by a federal public defender, a spokesman for Ms Ortiz said in an e-mailed message.

    At about 8.30am on Monday, the university police, two officials of the school and the president of the Harvard Crimson daily student newspaper got identical e-mail messages with a subject line that read "bombs placed around campus", according to a sworn statement by Special Agent Thomas Dalton of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

    Kim was interviewed by the FBI and by a Harvard police officer. He waived his constitutional right to have an attorney present and admitted to writing the e-mailed threats, according to Mr Dalton.

    "According to Kim, he was motivated by a desire to avoid a final exam," Mr Dalton said.

    The bomb threat led to the closing of the Science Center, Sever Hall, Thayer Hall and Emerson Hall, as well as Harvard Yard, the original campus of the 377-year-old school. They were reopened hours later.