Ethiopian Airlines plane hijacked by co-pilot

By Marcina Zaccaria ,

A co-pilot from an Ethiopian Airlines hijacked a plane in an effort to seek asylum in Switzerland.

The Boeing plane, set to go to Rome, was re-routed to Geneva on Monday. The plane left the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, and landed in Switzerland on Sunday. Over Sudan’s airspace, they heard a message from the aircraft.

"From Sudan all the way to Switzerland, the co-pilot took control of the plane," Minister Redwan Hussein said, according to the Associated Press.

At first, it was thought that the plane landed in Geneva for an emergency. It was determined that the co-pilot locked the pilot out of the cockpit while he re-routed the plane. The Swiss federal prosecutor’s office is leading an investigation into this matter.

According to Reuters, police Spokesman Pierre Grangean said a news conference, "Just after landing, the co-pilot came out of the cockpit and ran to the police and said, 'I'm the hijacker.' He said he is not safe in his own country and wants asylum."

The co-pilot will be charged with taking hostages. If convicted, this crime could lead to up to 20 years in jail.

image: By BriYYZ from Toronto, Canada [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons



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