NICOSIA, Cyprus – Cyprus' interior minister says a man who has admitted hijacking a domestic EgyptAir flight and diverting it to Cyprus is claiming political asylum.
Socrates Hasikos told the Associated Press Wednesday that 59-year-old Seif Eddin Mustafa's asylum claim will be examined ahead of a request by Egyptian authorities for his extradition.
Cyprus' Attorney General Costas Clerides has said that Mustafa is fighting his extradition and has hired a lawyer.
Last month's hijacking ended peacefully six hours after Mustafa — described by Cypriot authorities as "psychologically unstable" — forced the Airbus A320 to land in Cyprus' main Larnaca airport by threatening to blow it up with a fake suicide belt. Mustafa was arrested when he stepped off the plane after all 72 passengers and crew were released.