Seif Eddin Mustafa, who hijacked an EgyptAir flight on its way from Alexandria to Cairo on Tuesday, is currently being detained in Cyprus.
Judge Maria Loizou gave authorization for Mustafa to be held for the maximum eight days as she suspected he would attempt to flee. He is currently facing charges of hijacking, illegal possession of explosives, kidnapping and threats to commit violence.
Egypt’s General Prosecutor Nabil Sadek has made an official request to have Mustafa extradited to Egypt, citing bilateral and international agreements on the extradition of criminals.
Authorities and hostage negotiators said Mustafa appeared to be “psychologically unstable.” He made a number of bizarre demands during the standoff at the airport.
“His demands were neither logical nor coherent,” said Cypriot foreign affairs minister Ioannis Kasoulides.
“He kept on changing his mind and asking for different things,” Homer Mavrommatis, director of the Cyprus Ministry of Foreign Affairs Crisis Management Center said.
He later claimed his actions were motivated by a desire to see his family. Upon being arrested, he made the statement: “What’s someone supposed to do when he hasn’t seen his wife and children in 24 years and the Egyptian government won’t let him?”
What officials have agreed upon is that the hijacking could not be considered an act of terrorism.
Egypt’s interior ministry has disclosed that Mustafa has a long criminal history. His record includes crimes such as “forgery, impersonation, burglary, and drug dealing.” However, an official at the general prosecutor’s office in Egypt said that there was no travel ban on him.