Cyprus court orders Egyptian hijack suspect held for 8 days

LARNACA, Cyprus (AP) – A Cyprus court on Wednesday ordered the detention for eight days of an Egyptian man who admitted to hijacking a domestic EgyptAir flight and diverting it to the east Mediterranean island nation by threatening to blow it up with a fake explosives belt.

Police prosecutor Andreas Lambrianou said the suspect, whom Cypriot and Egyptian authorities had earlier identified as 59-year-old Seif Eddin Mustafa, faces charges including hijacking, illegal possession of explosives, kidnapping and threats to commit violence.

Judge Maria Loizou said she found the police’s request for the maximum eight-day detention necessary because of fears that the suspect might flee and the fact that he admitted to the hijacking in a voluntary statement to police.

Tuesday’s dramatic hijacking ended peacefully when police arrested the suspect after all 72 passengers and crew aboard the Airbus A320 plane were released.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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