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2 Libyans charged in Malta with hijacking a flight

Associated Press logo Associated Press 25/12/2016
A man with a green flag is helped out an Afriqiyah Airways plane from Libya standing on the tarmac at Malta's Luqa International airport, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. Hijackers diverted a Libyan commercial plane to Malta on Friday and threatened to blow it up with hand grenades, Maltese authorities and state media said. (AP Photo/Jonathan Borg) © The Associated Press A man with a green flag is helped out an Afriqiyah Airways plane from Libya standing on the tarmac at Malta's Luqa International airport, Friday, Dec. 23, 2016. Hijackers diverted a Libyan commercial plane to Malta on Friday and threatened to blow it up with hand grenades, Maltese authorities and state media said. (AP Photo/Jonathan Borg)

VALLETTA, Malta — Two Libyan men have been arraigned in a Maltese court on charges of hijacking a domestic Libyan flight to the Mediterranean island of Malta.

Defendants Moussa Saha and Ahmed Ali each entered pleas of innocent and wore bulletproof vests in their appearance Sunday. They face up to life in prison.

The hours-long hijacking standoff Friday at Valletta airport ended peacefully after negotiations. Those on board the hijacked Afriqiyah Airways plane returned to Libya on a different plane Saturday.

Other charges include possession of imitation weapons, using violence against a person on a flight, holding people against their will, making threats of violence and attempting to cause financial or economic instability to a government.

Afriqiyah Airways said the hijackers wanted to go to Rome but ended up in Malta due to fuel limitations.

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