EgyptAir hijack: Cyprus extradites suspect Seif al-Din Mustafa

Image source, EPA
Image caption,
Mr Mustafa fought extradition to his home country for more than two years

An Egyptian man who hijacked a plane and diverted it to Cyprus has been deported to his home country after a two-year extradition battle.

Seif al-Din Mustafa is accused of using a fake suicide belt on an internal EgyptAir flight and forcing it to land in Larnaca in Cyprus in March 2016.

He said his motivation had been to seek asylum and highlight what he called repression by the Egyptian government.

He resisted extradition, arguing he would not face a fair trial in Egypt.

No-one was hurt in the hijacking. At the time, Cypriot authorities said the incident was not terrorism-related.

It was believed to have been sparked by a row between Mr Mustafa, now 61, and his ex-wife, who lives in Cyprus.

But Egyptian prosecutors had urged Cyprus to hand Mr Mustafa over under a 1996 bilateral extradition treaty.

Last year the Cypriot Supreme Court rejected his appeal against the move.

He arrived at Cairo airport amid tight security late on Saturday, officials say.

Media caption,
EgyptAir Flight MS181 hijacking suspect passes through airport security

EgyptAir flight MS181 was carrying 56 passengers from Alexandria to Cairo, along with six crew and a security official, when it was diverted.

During a stand-off lasting more than six hours, almost all passengers and crew were freed as authorities negotiated with Mr Mustafa.