Ac­cused faces se­ries of charges

7 Days in Dubai - - GLOBAL NEWS -

A court in Cyprus has or­dered the de­ten­tion for eight days of an Egyp­tian man who ad­mit­ted to hi­jack­ing a do­mes­tic Egyp­tAir flight and divert­ing it to the east Mediter­ranean coun­try by threat­en­ing to blow it up with a fake ex­plo­sives belt.

Police prose­cu­tor An­dreas Lam­bri­anou said the sus­pect, whom Cypriot and Egyp­tian au­thor­i­ties had ear­lier iden­ti­fied as 59-yearold Seif Ed­din Mustafa, faces charges in­clud­ing hi­jack­ing, il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of ex­plo­sives, kid­nap­ping and threats to com­mit vi­o­lence.

Judge Maria Loizou said she found the police’s re­quest for the max­i­mum eight-day de­ten­tion nec­es­sary be­cause of fears that the sus­pect might flee and the fact that he ad­mit­ted to the hi­jack­ing in a vol­un­tary state­ment to police.

Tues­day’s dra­matic in­ci­dent ended peace­fully when police ar­rested the sus­pect af­ter all 72 pas­sen­gers and crew aboard the Air­bus A320 air­craft were re­leased. Police said apart from the eight-mem­ber crew and 56 pas­sen­gers of var­i­ous na­tion­al­i­ties, a fur­ther eight Egyp­tAir crew were aboard the air­craft as pas­sen­gers.

Lam­bri­anou said that the sus­pect told police af­ter his ar­rest: “What’s some­one sup­posed to do when he hasn’t seen his wife and chil­dren in 24 years and the Egyp­tian gov­ern­ment won’t let him?”

A hand­cuffed Mustafa (pic­tured) flashed the ‘V’ for vic­tory sign with his hand out of a police ve­hi­cle as he was driven away from the Lar­naca court­house af­ter the hear­ing.

Cypriot of­fi­cials had de­scribed Mustafa as “psy­cho­log­i­cally un­sta­ble” fol­low­ing a bizarre set of de­mands he made to police ne­go­tia­tors, in­clud­ing what Lam­bri­anou said was a let­ter he wanted de­liv­ered to his Cypriot ex-wife in which he de­manded the re­lease of 63 women im­pris­oned in Egypt.

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