Handcuffed Seif al-Din Mohamed Mostafa, an Egyptian man who hijacked an EgyptAir passenger plane the previous day and forced it to divert to Cyprus demanding to see his ex-wife, flashes the "V" for victory sign as he leaves the court in Larnaca in a police car on March 30, 2016. (Photo:AFP)
The Egyptian hijacker who forced the landing of an EgyptAir plane in Cyprus confirmed to police upon his arrest that he commandeered the flight in order to see his family in Cyprus, according to media reports.
Cyprus Mail said on Wednesday that court reports showed that after Seif El-Din Mustafa was arrested on Tuesday, he told officers, “when someone hasn’t seen his family for 24 years and wants to see his wife and children, and the Egyptian government does not allow him to, what should he do?”
His estranged wife is reportedly "embarrassed" by the incident and does not want to see him.
The Cypriot court ordered his detention for eight days.
Mustafa is accused of hijacking the flight as it was en route from Alexandria to Cairo, brandishing what appeared to be an explosives belt before forcing the pilot to divert the flight to Cyprus.
No passengers were injured in the incident, with Cypriot police later saying that the belt was a fake.
Egypt’s prosecutor-general Nabil Sadek decided on Wednesday to submit a formal request to the Cypriot authorities for Mustafa's extradition for prosecution at home.