Suspected EL-AL hijacker goes on trial in Turkey
A Turkish court began hearing on Friday a case against an Israeli Arab who could face up to five years in jail for attempting to hijack an El-Al flight over two months ago, the Anatolia news agency reported.
The suspect, identified as Tawfiq Fukra, 24, was taken into custody after the airplane landed safely at Istanbul airport following the foiled hijack attempt on November 17.
Fukra was overpowered by guards aboard the plane - flying from Tel Aviv to Istanbul - after he attacked a flight attendant and tried to enter the cockpit with a knife, according to Israeli public radio reports.
In Friday's hearing, the suspect denied the charges against him, according to Anatolia.
Fukra argued that he had held the arm of a flight attendant and took out his pocket-knife in anger because she had made fun of his Arab background during the flight, the agency said.
He also claimed that he was beaten by the passengers for 30 minutes after he was overpowered and bound, the report added.
The judge rejected a demand by Fukra to be released and adjourned the trial to a later date, it said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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