CAIRO: “I don’t know if he were mentally unstable or not… probably, but he is very clever and is a professional forger and I hope he is extradited to the Egyptian government,” Cypriot ex wife of the hijacker of an Egyptian plane forced to land in Larnaca said an interview with Youm7.
Hijacker Seif Mostafa, 59, “has no place here, and his children do not know him and do not want to,” Marina told Youm7 in an interview in Larnaca.
When Mostafa hijacked a domestic Egyptian plane in March, Marina saw Mostafa from afar when she went to the airport with the police, and she claimed he did not want to go to Cyprus but either to Israel or Turkey to escape from the Egyptian government.
Marina’s brother opened the door of the house to the Youm7 reporter, first denying Marina live there then said his sister left her husband more than 30 years ago.
“When he visited us in Cyprus he stole m passport and put his own photo in it to return to Egypt without being recognized before technology was developed and computers were used to register data. He sent us a letter in English 15 years ago threatening to kill us all,” the brother told Youm7.
According to Youm7, Marina speaks Arabic fluently. She said that ever since she knew Mostafa, he would go to jail for a month and return the next month just to perpetrate a new offense to go back to jail over different charges, including escaping from military conscription, forging passports for himself and others, and possessing drugs.
“He did not pay for the expenses of his children, and my father wired money from Cyprus. I didn’t live with him constantly; I met him in 1983, married him in 1985 and lived with his parents through his jail terms. I gave birth to Sophia in Egypt in 1984, then Mikhalis in 1985 and a twin in 1988 in Cyprus, but Sophia died in an accident 13 years ago,” Marina said.
“He was in Cyprus the last time in 1988 but the Cypriot government kicked him out and he never returned. I traveled to Egypt twice with the kids to try to help him. I married Mostafa for eight years, but I only lived with him for six months; his longest stay with us was for a month, then he would perpetrate a crime and goes to prison. He has not seen his children for over 25 years. After Egypt’s 1992 earthquake, my mother traveled to Cairo to take the twin, then I followed her a month later because he beat me and my children for no reason,” she added.
“I wanted divorce but I was 18 at them time and the Cypriot traditions and customs in the 80s were difficult and offended the reputation of divorced women. But then I filed a divorce lawsuit before a court in 1993 then went to the church in 1994 to ask for divorce,” Marina continued.
“He tried to contact me when he oldest son was 20 and asked for his children’s birth certificates,” Marina said, adding that she told him she would not send him the documents via mail and that he would have to go to Cyprus to get them.
“He called me more than 18 years ago and told me he had hijacked a plane from Libya under the rule of [late President Muammar] Gaddafi. My children feel shame and find the situation a scandal, not because they feel bad about Mostafa, but because they have his name here in Cyprus.”
“I married another man more than 22 years ago, worked as a clothes saleswoman and brought up my children. I ask every woman to take her freedom if she made a mistake in her choice and not to wait for eight years if she found herself with someone like Mostafa el-Din Mostafa.”
Read Youm7’s interview with hijacker Mostafa here.
Reporting by Mai el-Shamy