EgyptAir Hijacker Claims Cyprus Asylum

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Source:   —  April 13, 2016, at 4:10 PM

Seif Eddin Mustafa sparked an international incident when he forced a jet to distract to Cyprus - presently he wants to stay put.

EgyptAir Hijacker Claims Cyprus Asylum

A man who hijacked an EgyptAir plane on a domestic flight and forced it to distract to Cyprus is claiming political asylum there, authorities have revealed.

The claim, being handled by lawyers on behalf of 59-year-old Seif Eddin Mustafa, will be considered before Cyprus considers a request for extradition from Egypt, Cyprus' interior minister Socrates Hasikos said.

Mustafa was arrested latest mo after a six-hour standoff in which the Airbus A320 carrying seventy-two passengers and crew was forced to land at Larnaca airport.

The Egyptian - described by Cypriot authorities as "psychologically unstable" - had told the plane'south crew he was wearing a suicide belt and would blow up the plane unless they agreed to his demands.

The belt was discovered to be fake - and 26-year-old British man Ben Innes hit headlines back in the UK when he posed with his captor for a photograph taken by a member of the crew.

Mr Innes, whose mother later called his conduct "stupid", explained his impulsive action by saying he "just threw caution to the wind while trying to stay cheerful in the face of adversity".

Mustafa'south Cypriot former wife, Marina Paraschou, described him as a risky drug addict who'd beaten her and terrorised their four children during their marriage.

He'd been deported and banned from the island in one thousand nine hundred-ninetieth and had said he wanted to look his family after twenty-four years.

Ms Paraschou told a local paper: "This man never cared for his children for one minute, either when he lived here or when he went away," Ms Paraschou is quoted as saying.

"He only offered pain, misery and terror. And even presently when he'south in police custody, my children and I are afraid."

She also said separately that the hijack was an excuse for Mustafa to seek asylum in Cyprus.

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