EgyptAir Hijacker Says He Had No other Choice

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Cairo: Man suspected of hijacking an EgyptAir flight and redirecting it to Cyprus has appeared in court and said he acted in a bid “to see his wife and children”.

Seif Eldin Mustafa, 59, flashed “v” signs for victory as he left the court in Larnaca following a short hearing, where he was remanded in custody for eight days on suspicion of hijacking, abduction, threatening violence, terrorism-related offences and two counts related to possession of explosives.

Police said the latter charges would relate to Mr Mustafa’s alleged claim that he had a bomb vest, even though Cypriot officials later said the “explosives” were in fact iPhone covers bound together with cloth.

It has previously been reported that the hijacker made a range of demands after the plane from Alexandria landed at Larnaca airport with 72 passengers and crew on board.

After a six-hour stand-off, the suspect identified by Egyptian and Cypriot authorities as Mr Mustafa walked off the plane and handed himself in to police.

In a statement to Cypriot police, Mr Mustafa said: “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?”

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