Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesman said that the Egyptian who hijacked an EgyptAir flight on Tuesday, forcing its diversion to Cyprus, should be tried in that country before being extradited to Egypt in accordance with treaties between the two countries.
"We have studied all bilateral treaties… between Egypt and Cyprus concerning handing over and swapping defendants," spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid told Ahram Online hours after Egypt submitted a request to Cypriot authorities for the extradition of admitted hijacker Seif El-Din Mustafa.
Egypt’s prosecutor-general Nabil Sadek decided on Wednesday to submit a formal request to the Cypriot authorities for the extradition of Mustafa, citing an Egyptian-Cypriot 1996 agreement on the extradition of criminals.
Earlier on Wednesday, Cypriot police prosecutor Andreas Lambrianou said the 59-year-old Egyptian national faces charges including hijacking, illegal possession of explosives, kidnapping and threats to commit violence.
A Cypriot court granted a police request to detain Mustafa for the maximum eight-day detention period over fears that he might flee and the fact that he admitted to the hijacking in a voluntary statement to police.
No passengers were injured in the incident and Cypriot police later said the belt was a fake.
Cypriot officials described Mustafa as "psychologically unstable" following a bizarre set of demands he made to police negotiators, including what Lambrianou said was a letter he wanted delivered to his Cypriot ex-wife in which he demanded the release of 63 dissident women imprisoned in Egypt.