EgyptAir hijacker Seif el-Din Mustafa to be extradited

2016-04-07 11:48
(Petros Karadjias, AP)

(Petros Karadjias, AP)

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


Smile! See UK man taking photo with Egyptair hijacker

2016-04-01 13:32

Watch as a passenger on board Egyptair flight MS181 takes a photo with the plane's hijacker. WATCH

Cairo - Cypriot authorities have approved a request from Cairo to extradite the man accused of hijacking an EgyptAir plane and diverting it to the Mediterranean island, according to Egyptian state news agency MENA.

Egyptian Seif el-Din Mustafa, 59, is accused of using a fake suicide belt to seize the Alexandria-Cairo flight on March 29 and force it to land in Cyprus.

The suspect surrendered at Larnaca airport after commandeering the domestic flight MS181 with 82 people on board.

Cypriot government officials said that a legal process would now begin to send Mustafa home.

"Instructions were given for the relevant procedures to begin," a government official told AFP news agency.

Officials are expected to try to fast-track the extradition process, which could take several weeks. The suspect is expected to remain in police custody until his extradition papers are ready.

The Egyptian state prosecutor's office had asked for him to be handed over under a 1996 bilateral extradition treaty.

Mustafa, described by authorities as psychologically unstable, said he acted out of desperation to see his Cypriot ex-wife and children.

"When someone hasn't seen his family for 24 years and wants to see his wife and children, and the Egyptian government doesn't allow it, what should one do?" the hijacker had told Cypriot police in a statement.

Cypriot prosecutors said last week he faced possible charges of hijacking, kidnapping, reckless and threatening behaviour, and breaches of the anti-terror law.

According to police, Mustafa has given a voluntary statement admitting to the hijacking.

His ex-wife has been quoted by Cypriot media as describing their five years of marriage as a "black period" of her life.

Most of the passengers were quickly released after the plane landed, but some escaped only minutes before the six-hour stand-off finished.

Passenger Farrah el-Dibany had told Al Jazeera that it took a while for those aboard to realise that they were taken hostage.

"It was the moment that we saw we were flying over sea ... I was horrified," she said. "That's when we realised something was wrong but nobody imagined that it could be that kind of thing.

"Then, one of the cabin crew passed by all of the passengers and collected all the passports without giving any reason. He just said that there was a problem and that they could not say anything more.

"About 45 minutes later, one of the cabin crew members told us that we were hijacked. They didn't say by whom, or what the demands were, or where we were heading.

"It was a horrifying moment," el-Dibany said.

Read more on:    egyptair  |  egypt  |  greece  |  security

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


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
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.