Nicosia: Cyprus' interior minister says a man who has admitted hijacking a domestic EgyptAir flight and diverting it to Cyprus is claiming political asylum.
EgyptAir plane hijacking suspect Seif Eddin Mustafa, second left, is escorted by Cyprus police officers. AP
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.