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Sins of the Past: An Egyptian Plane Hijacker Imprisoned for Life

A court in Egypt on Tuesday jailed an Egyptian man for life after he hijacked an airliner to Cyprus in 2016 using a fake explosive belt.

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

The man, Seif Eldin Mustafa has the right to appeal the sentence 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.

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EgyptAir Airbus A320 passenger plane at Domodedovo International Airport. Early on 29 March, 2016, the plane was hijacked while on an EgyptAir MS181 flight from Alexandria, Egypt to Cairo, Egypt, and landed at Larnaca Airport in Cyprus/Getty Images

Mustafa had taken control of the plane by showing flight attendants what appeared to be a belt stuffed with plastic wires and a remote control.

He then asked for the release of all female prisoners held in Egypt, and also to have contact with his Cypriot ex-wife.

He surrendered to Cypriot authorities about six hours after he landed, having gradually released all passengers and crew unharmed.

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

Cypriot courts had heard appeals since 2016 against the extradition of the 61-year-old to Cairo, rejecting his arguments that he would not receive a fair trial in Egypt.

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Written by How Africa

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