Sunday, 19 August 2018

Hijacker of MS181 handed back over to Egyptian authorities

The Egyptian man who hijacked an EgyptAir aircraft with a fake suicide explosives belt in March 2016 has been handed back to Egyptian authorities according to Egypt's state prosecutor.

The prosecutor confirmed in a statement that Seif Eldin Mustafa was handed over to an Egyptian Interpol team in Nicosia after Cairo provided assurances that he would face legal proceedings that conform to international standards.

Seif Eldin Mustafa boarded the EgyptAir Airbus A320 on 29th March 2016 that was ccheduled for a normal domestic flight from Alexandria to Cairo flight with 55 passengers on board. However, it proved to be anything but an ordinary journey as Mustafa complete with a 'suicide' explosive belt took control and demanded to be flown to Cyprus.   

He'd shown the cabin attendants what appeared to be a belt stuffed with plastic wires and a remote control, this would later prove to be fake, with no explosives. During the hijacking, he even posed for photos with of the passengers. 

After arriving in Larnaca, Cyprus there was a six-hour stand-off or siege with passengers and crew leaving the plane gradually. Seif Eldin Mustafa then walked down the plane steps and was arrested by the Cypriot authorities.

Cypriot courts had previously heard appeals in the intervening time regarding extradition to Egypt, mainly focused on the belief that the 61-year-old would not get a fair trial in Cairo. However, the latest assurances have been enough for Cyprus to hand him over with the promises that any and all legal proceedings would follow international standards.