Egypt Independent

EgyptAir plane hijacker detained 15 days pending investigations


The Alexandria Prosecution office on Saturday ordered the hijacker of an EgyptAir plane be detained for 15 days pending investigations. It also referred the case for investigation by Supreme State Security Prosecution, and the suspect be held at Borg el-Arab prison.

A security mission from Egyptian INTERPOL earlier this month retrieved the hijacker, 60-year old Saif Eddin Mostafa, from Cypriot authorities.

The case dates back to late March 2016, when Mostafa hijacked a passenger plane from Alexandria’s Borg al-Arab International Airport, which was bound for Cairo, and forced its captain to head to Cyprus, where the plane then landed at Larnaca International Airport.

The plane was carrying 55 passengers, and Egyptian authorities lost contact with it shortly after it took off from the Cairo airport.

Mostafa threatened the plane’s crew by claiming to wear an explosive belt under his clothes, later revealed to be a fake.

Egypt’s Public Prosecutor filed a request to the Cypriot prosecutor for the international extradition of Mostafa on charges of hijacking an Egyptian plane.

The Supreme Court of Cyprus agreed to the request from a memorandum by the Egyptian Public Prosecution, which guarantees criminal prosecution in accordance with international standards.

Mostafa admitted to the Cypriot authorities that he hijacked the plane only so that he could reunite with his family in Cyprus after 24 years.

He has previously been charged with 16 felonies and misdemeanors. He was sentenced to imprisonment in 2010 but escaped in the January 25, 2011 revolution. Upon surrendering in 2014 and serving his sentence, Mostafa was released in 2015.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm