Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
THURSDAY, 17 APR 2014
12:36 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
22 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
International
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Sochi hijack attempt over Ukrainian prisoners
Associated Press
A man (C) who attempted to hijack an airliner from Ukraine is escorted by police after the plane was forced down on Febuary 7, 2014 at Sabiha Goksen airport in Istanbul.  AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC
A man (C) who attempted to hijack an airliner from Ukraine is escorted by police after the plane was forced down on Febuary 7, 2014 at Sabiha Goksen airport in Istanbul. AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC
A+ A-

ANKARA: A Ukrainian man who allegedly tried to hijack a Turkey-bound commercial flight and divert it to Sochi on the day of the Winter Olympics' opening ceremony wanted to press for the release of anti-government protesters in his country, authorities said Saturday.

Turkey's transport minister suggested the man probably acted alone and didn't have any links to terror groups.

The 45-year old Ukrainian man, identified by Turkish media as Artem Hozlov, claimed he had a bomb and tried to divert a Pegasus Airlines flight, which originated in Kharkiv, Ukraine, to Sochi, Russia, on Friday. The crew tricked him and landed the plane in Istanbul instead where he was subdued by security officers who sneaked on board. Turkish authorities said no bomb was found.

The foiled hijacking took place as thousands of athletes from around the world poured into a tightly-secured stadium in Sochi amid warnings the games could be a terror target.

The man was being questioned by police for possible links to terror groups, according to Turkey's state-run TRT television. It wasn't clear when charges would be brought.

"We think it was an individual thing," Transport Minister Lutfi Elvan told reporters in response to questions on to whether the incident was a "terrorist" act. "It may be linked to (events in) Ukraine... Our colleagues say it is not a serious issue."

Maxim Lenko, the head of the Ukrainian Security Service's investigative division, said the Kharkiv resident wanted to divert the plane to Sochi where Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych were meeting on the sidelines of the Olympics.

"The passenger put forth the demand to free the 'hostages' in Ukraine," Lenko said, in reference to people arrested in the ongoing protests in Ukraine. "Otherwise, he threatened to blow up the plane."

Turkey's private NTV television quoting an unnamed passenger on board the plane said the man was demanding freedom for prisoners in Ukraine as well as former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is Yanukovych's top foe and serving a seven-year sentence on charges of abuse of office.

Huge protests began in Ukraine when Yanukovych shelved an agreement to deepen ties with the 28-nation European Union in favor of getting a $15 billion loan from Russia. Many Ukrainians resent the long shadow Russia has cast over Ukraine.

The protests quickly expanded their grievances to calls for Yanukovych's resignation and the denunciation of police violence after the brutal dispersal of some early peaceful rallies. The demonstrations erupted into clashes last month after Yanukovych approved harsh laws against protesters. At least three protesters died in the clashes.

 
Home International
 
     
 
Turkey / Ukraine / Russia
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
Story Summary
A Ukrainian man who allegedly tried to hijack a Turkey-bound commercial flight and divert it to Sochi on the day of the Winter Olympics' opening ceremony wanted to press for the release of anti-government protesters in his country, authorities said Saturday.

The 45-year old Ukrainian man, identified by Turkish media as Artem Hozlov, claimed he had a bomb and tried to divert a Pegasus Airlines flight, which originated in Kharkiv, Ukraine, to Sochi, Russia, on Friday.

Turkey's private NTV television quoting an unnamed passenger on board the plane said the man was demanding freedom for prisoners in Ukraine as well as former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who is Yanukovych's top foe and serving a seven-year sentence on charges of abuse of office.
Related Articles
 
 
Yanukovych ordered snipers to shoot
 
 
Ukraine president cancels trip over protests in eastern Ukraine
 
 
Protesters in east Ukraine deny having explosives, holding hostages
 
 
Ukraine launches 'anti-terrorist' operation in east
Entities
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Tuesday April 15, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Silencing Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s hate talk
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Putin will keep rolling, until Obama says no
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS