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Cyprus approves extradition of hijacker to Egypt (Updated)

The hijacker after his court appearance last Wednesday

Cyprus’ justice ministry on Wednesday approved an order to extradite Egyptian hijacker Seif Eldin Mustafa back to Egypt, after he hijacked an Egyptair flight last week and forced it to land in Larnaca.

The decision is now pending approval by the attorney-general, police said.

According to justice ministry spokeswoman Elena Kourtellaridou, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou himself approved the order.

Standard procedure dictates the order may take up to 60 days to process however reports suggest it may be sped up in this case.

Kourtellaridou said Cyprus and Egypt had recently signed a series of agreements allowing for more cooperation encompassing extradition orders.

“We can send suspects to them, and they to us.”

“He (Mustafa) will be tried in Egyptian courts.”

Police said the attorney-general would be evaluating the justice ministry’s decision before any final decisions were taken and Mustafa was extradited or not.

Mustafa faces charges for hijacking, the illegal possession of explosives, abduction, threat of violence, attempt to cause bodily harm with the use of explosives, reckless behaviour, and offences relating to the violation of the laws on terrorism and civil aviation.

According to Amnesty International, terrorism related offences not resulting in death are a crime punishable by death under Egyptian law.

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