A psychiatric evaluation has revealed that the co-pilot who hijacked an Ethiopian Airlines flight and re-routed it to Geneva in 2014 was not of sound mind when he did so. As a result, the Swiss Attorney General will drop all charges against him.
Although the man planned the hijacking beforehand, he was not competent to judge the situation at the time and experienced paranoia, according to the Attorney General’s office.
The co-pilot will stand trial before the Federal Criminal Court, which will decide on the therapeutic measures to be prescribed to him. For now, he remains in a closed psychiatric ward.
In February 2014, the 31-year-old Ethiopian hijacked a flight from Addis Ababa to Rome, rerouting it to Geneva with 202 people on board. He took control of the plane while the pilot was using the restroom.
After landing in Geneva, the co-pilot exited through the cockpit window and turned himself over to authorities. He then asked for political asylum in Switzerland as he felt threatened in his homeland.
In March, an Ethiopian court sentenced him to 19 years and six months in prison for hijacking. The Swiss authorities decided not to extradite him to Ethiopia in order to try him in Switzerland.
swissinfo.ch and agencies