Ethiopia Pilot was Distraught over Death in Family 02/18/14
February 18, 2014
ADDIS ABABA— The uncle of an Ethiopian pilot who hijacked a flight to Rome and took it to Geneva says his nephew had been distraught over the loss of another uncle.
The uncle (Alemu Asmamaw) tells The Associated Press in a phone interview today that 31-year-old co-pilot was in emotional distress over the past month following the sudden death of an uncle.
The co-pilot, who had worked for Ethiopian Airlines for five years, on Monday locked the pilot of a Rome-bound flight out of the cockpit and then diverted the plane to Geneva, where he sought asylum.
Geneva prosecutors say he'll be charged with taking hostages, a crime punishable by up to 20 years.