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Cyprus Court Orders Extradition of EgyptAir Hijacker Seif Al-Din Mostafa

Cyprus Court Orders Extradition of EgyptAir Hijacker Seif Al-Din Mostafa

Credit: AFP
Credit: AFP

A Cyprus court ordered on Friday the extradition of the 59-year-old Egyptian who hijacked EgyptAir flight MS181 with a fake bomb vest.

According to Reuters, citing Cyprus News Agency, Seif Al-Din Mostafa failed to convince the court that if returned to Egypt he would not receive a fair trial.

Egypt’s Prosecutor General Nabil Sadek had issued the extradition request, which was approved by the Cypriot government, for the suspected Egyptian hijacker on March 31 on the basis of a 1996 bilateral extradition agreement.

Earlier this year, Mostafa’s political asylum request was rejected by Cyprus due to the nature of his crime.

The hijacker, who rose to notoriety on social media for allegedly hijacking the plane to see his ex-wife and children, claimed he would be persecuted in Egypt for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. However, apart from appearing in a Rabaa t-shirt (worn commonly by supporters of the banned group) during court appearances, there have been no indications that such support is genuine.

Mostafa took over flight MS181 en route from Alexandria to Cairo on 29 March and forced the plane to land in Cyprus. Mostafa reportedly hijacked the EgyptAir plane with the aim of reaching his ex-wife, who lives on Cyprus. She later said Mostafa is an “extremely dangerous man” who used drugs and beat her and their children, while strongly rejecting the claim that her ex-husband was acting out of love to see his family.

The hijacking was resolved peacefully after six hours and all of the 55 passengers were released without procuring any injuries.

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