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Egypt asks for hijacker to be extradited from Cyprus

30 March 2016

The Egyptian authorities are asking South Cyprus to hand over the Egyptian national who hijacked an EgyptAir plane on Tuesday.

Appearing to be wearing a suicide belt, former Egyptian army officer Seif Eldin Mustafa (59) demanded that the Cairo-bound plane land at Larnaca airport.

Most of the passengers were allowed to leave the aircraft after it landed in Cyprus. A number of crew and three passengers remained on board.

After Mustafa left the plane via the cockpit window, he was arrested. It was later discovered that the suicide belt was fake. On Wednesday, he was remanded in custody for eight days by the court.

Mustafa, who was not represented by a lawyer and did not object to the remand order, had told officers after his arrest, that his desire to see his family was the reason he felt compelled to take such drastic action.

“When someone hasn’t seen his family for 24 years and wants to see his wife and children and the Egyptian government does not allow him to, what should he do?” he told police. He also made a series of other claims as to his motivation which police said they needed to investigate further.

The hijacker had four children with his Cypriot ex-wife, one of whom died ten years ago. Mustafa left Cyprus in 1994.

Mustafa faces charges for hijacking, the illegal possession of explosives, abduction, threat of violence, attempt to cause bodily harm with the use of explosives, reckless behaviour, and offences relating to the violation of the laws on terrorism and civil aviation.

Cyprus Mail

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