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Alleged EgyptAir Hijacker to Be Extradited to Cairo

  • VOA News

EgyptAir plane hijacking suspect Seif Eddin Mustafa flashes the victory sign as he leaves a court in a police car after a remand hearing as authorities investigate him on charges including hijacking, illegal possession of explosives and abduction in the Cypriot coastal town of Larnaca Wednesday, March 30, 2016.

EgyptAir plane hijacking suspect Seif Eddin Mustafa flashes the victory sign as he leaves a court in a police car after a remand hearing as authorities investigate him on charges including hijacking, illegal possession of explosives and abduction in the Cypriot coastal town of Larnaca Wednesday, March 30, 2016.

The man who admitted to hijacking an EgyptAir flight last week with a fake bomb will be extradited to Egypt, after Cypriot and Egyptian authorities agreed to the legal procedure Thursday.

Seif al-Din Mustafa, 58, has been held in Cyprus since last week when he used the fake suicide belt to force the flight off course and to the southern coastal city Larnaca.

Cypriot Attorney General Petros Clerides described Mustafa as being “psychologically unstable.” He told the Associated Press Mustafa is objecting to the extradition and has hired a lawyer to defend him.

According to Clerides, an extradition hearing has been scheduled for April 22, where a Cypriot court will hear Mustafa’s argument as to why he should not be sent to Egypt.

Mustafa was detained March 29 after he voluntarily admitted the hijacking. He hijacked the plane with more than 70 people onboard shortly after it took off from Alexandria en route to Cairo, but he demanded the plane be flown to Cyprus.

EgyptAir plane hijacking suspect Seif Eddin Mustafa, second left, is escorted by Cyprus police officers as he leaves a court after a remand hearing as authorities investigate him on charges including hijacking, illegal possession of explosives and abduction in the Cypriot coastal town of Larnaca Wednesday, March 30, 2016.

EgyptAir plane hijacking suspect Seif Eddin Mustafa, second left, is escorted by Cyprus police officers as he leaves a court after a remand hearing as authorities investigate him on charges including hijacking, illegal possession of explosives and abduction in the Cypriot coastal town of Larnaca Wednesday, March 30, 2016.

Mustafa told investigators he wanted to see his ex-wife and children, who he hadn’t spoken to in more than 10 years. He had been forbidden to see them by Egyptian authorities.

The hijacking incident ended peacefully after a six-hour standoff on the tarmac after landing in Cyprus. Most of the hostages on the plane were released shortly after it landed in Larnaca, though Mustafa held a few until just before he surrendered.

The extradition process could take as long as 60 days, but will likely be accelerated.

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