Life sentence for Egyptian hijacker


An Egyptian court handed a life sentence to an Egyptian man who hijacked an airliner to Cyprus in 2016 using a fake explosive belt.

The charges included using intimidation and threats to seize an aircraft and abduct its passengers for a terrorist purpose, according to a judicial source.

Seif Eldin Mustafa has the right to appeal within 60 days.

Mustafa commandeered a domestic Alexandria-Cairo flight with 72 passengers and crew on board in March 2016, ordering it to land at Larnaca airport in Cyprus.

Mustafa took control of the aircraft showing flight attendants what appeared to be a belt stuffed with plastic wires and a remote control. He asked for the release of all female prisoners in Egypt and contact with his Cypriot ex-wife.

He surrendered to Cypriot authorities about six hours landing, having released all passengers and crew unharmed.

Cypriot authorities handed him to Cairo after a court ruling cleared the way for extradition.

Cypriot courts heard appeals against the extradition of the 61-year-old to Cairo, rejecting arguments that he would not receive a fair trial in Egypt.