Italian officials intend to prosecute a Turkish man for hijacking an airliner, they have said, despite his appeal for political asylum on the grounds that he is being persecuted as a Christian in Muslim Turkey.
"Even a bicycle thief can ask for political asylum. But at this moment this doesn't mean anything," Brindisi prosecutor Giuseppe Giannuzzi said Wednesday.
He added that his office was also looking into whether the hijacker, Hakan Ekinci, could be charged with terrorism.
The Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-400 with 113
people aboard was hijacked Tuesday during a flight from Tirana, Albania, to Istanbul, Turkey.