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Malta: Libya plane hijackers plead "not guilty"


Two Libyan men charged with hijacking an airliner on Friday have pleaded not guilty during a court appearance at the Maltese capital Valetta.

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.

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.

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.

The plane with 111 passengers had been travelling from Sabha to Tripoli before the incident occured.

It appears that the men are supporters of the toppled Libyan leader Gaddafi.

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. The men gave themselves up after long hours of standoff at the Valetta airport.

They risk a life jail sentence if found guilty during the trial.

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