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Justice minister waiting for official request from Egypt for hijacker’s extradition

The hijacker after his court appearance last Wednesday

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said on Sunday that his ministry would examine the legal and political aspects concerning the extradition of the 59-year-old Egyptian Seif el Din Mustafa, accused of hijacking EgyptAir`s flight, as soon as the official request comes to the Ministry of Justice.

By Thursday there was no an official request for extradition, he said. However, he did not rule out such a request being made on Monday morning through diplomatic channels. He also said that an authorised officer contacted the Law Office of the Republic and passed on Egypt’s intention to submit the request.

“As soon as we have it we will examine it in coordination with the attorney-general based on the criteria of the International Convention, and we will evaluate the issues in accordance with the policy we follow,” he said.

The minister noted that the extradition of any person to stand trial in another country is governed by multilateral agreements specifying the criteria for the extradition to the applicant country.

He added that at the moment Mustafa was being detained for interrogation purposes by Cypriot authorities and he remains in detention, pending the examination of a request for extradition.

Nicolaou said that the issue has also a political aspect which was going to be examined in the framework of the government policy.

Larnaca District Court on Wednesday issued an eight day remand order against Mustafa who hijacked an Egypt Air plane on Tuesday on a domestic flight from Alexandria en route to Cairo and forced it to land in Cyprus after which he demanded to see his Cypriot ex wife among other things.

The charges against him include hijacking, illegal possession of explosives, abduction and terrorism.

The hijacker of EgyptAir flight MS181, which landed at Larnaca Airport on Tuesday morning, surrendered himself to police at around 1440 local time. All passengers and crew were released unharmed and returned to Cairo. (CNA)

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