NICOSIA, Cyprus – A Cyprus court has approved a request from the Egyptian government to extradite a man who hijacked a domestic EgyptAir flight with a fake suicide belt and diverted it to Cyprus in March.
Judge Dona Constantinou ordered Friday that Egyptian Seif Eddin Mustafa be extradited within 10 days and remain in police custody until then.
Constantinou rejected Mustafa's argument that he could be tortured by Egyptian authorities if he's returned.
She said Mustafa, 59, failed to persuade the court that Egyptian authorities persecuted him for his political beliefs.
Constantinou said Mustafa faces hijacking charges in Egypt that don't carry the death penalty.
Mustafa claims he hijacked the EgyptAir jet to underscore the wrongs done by Egypt's military-backed government. The hijack ended peacefully after all 72 passengers and crew were released.