Man accused of EgyptAir hijacking appears in court

2016-03-30 11:05
Seif al-Din Mohamed Mostafa leaves the court in Larnaca in a police car. (George Michael, AFP)

Seif al-Din Mohamed Mostafa leaves the court in Larnaca in a police car. (George Michael, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Larnaca - The man accused of hijacking an EgyptAir plane and forcing it to land in Cyprus was remanded into police custody for eight days during his first court appearance on Wednesday.

Police told the court in Larnaca that 58-year-old Egyptian Seif al-Din Mohamed Mostafa faces possible charges of hijacking, kidnapping people with the aim of taking them to an unknown destination, reckless and threatening behaviour and offences that breach the anti-terror law.

The accused did not speak in court.

But as he left in a police car, he gave the victory sign to journalists attending the hearing at the courthouse, which is less than a kilometre away from Larnaca airport where the hijacking unfolded on Tuesday.

Mostafa, who has a Cypriot ex-wife, will not face any formal charges until a later hearing and only at that point will he be expected to enter a plea.

Cyprus authorities have described Mostafa as "psychologically unstable" and said the case was not "terrorism-related".

He is accused of forcing the plane to divert to Larnaca airport on the island's south coast on Tuesday by threatening to detonate an explosives belt that turned out to be fake.

Authorities allege that his motives were personal and related to his Cypriot ex-wife with whom he is reported to have had children.

The hijacking triggered a six-hour standoff at the airport and the closure of the main entry point for tourists to the Mediterranean resort island.

Most of the 55 passengers on the plane - originally travelling from Alexandria to Cairo - were quickly released after it had landed.

But some escaped only minutes before the standoff ended, including one uniformed man who was seen clambering out of a cockpit window and dropping to the ground.

Read more on:    egyptair  |  egypt

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.