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Malta: Libya plane hijackers plead "not guilty"

Libya

<p>Two Libyan men charged with hijacking an airliner on Friday have pleaded not guilty during a court appearance at the Maltese capital Valetta.</p> <p>They were escorted to the hearing on Sunday under heavy security while they wore bullet proof vests and one of them Moussa Saha even requested for time to pray.</p> <p>Apart from the charge of hijacking the plane the two men face charges for imitation of weapons, violence and efforts to cause financial instability to a government.</p> <p>The men; Moussa Saha and Ali Ahmed Saleh diverted the internal Libyan flight, telling crew they had grenades which were later discovered to be fake.</p> <p>The plane with 111 passengers had been travelling from Sabha to Tripoli before the incident occured.</p> <p>It appears that the men are supporters of the toppled Libyan leader Gaddafi.</p> One Libyan lawmaker said the men were demanding the creation of a pro-Gaddafi party, 5 years after the former leader was toppled by a bloody civil war. <p>The men gave themselves up after long hours of standoff at the Valetta airport.</p> <p>They risk a life jail sentence if found guilty during the trial.</p>
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