Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Turkish hijacker stayed in Macedonia, police have no data

Hakan Ekinci, the hijacker of Turkish Airlines passenger plane, stayed in Macedonia for 48 hours, said Albanian police sources. Macedonian Interior Ministry, on the other hand, claims it has "no data" so far.

Makfax correspondent in Tirana said Albanian daily Shekuli cited police sources as saying that Ekinci had entered Albania on 6 May this year and later he entered Macedonia at Kafasan border crossing on 8 May.

He stayed in Macedonia for 48 hours before heading back to Albania, Tirana's daily Shekuli said, citing a source in Albania's Anti-Terrorism department.

Asked by Makfax to comment the information, sources in Macedonian Interior Ministry said the ministry has no available data indicating that the person entered Macedonia.

Shekuli daily claims that Albanian Interior Ministry will notify the authorities in Skopje in a bid to collect information on individuals Ekinci had contacted with during his stay in Macedonia.

Local media say Ekici's trip to Macedonia might shed light on the investigation into possible links he had in Macedonia.

The hijacker is said to have close ties with five China's Muslim Uyghurs. His girlfriend works at the Albanian Interior Ministry.

In the course of Thursday's session of Albanian Parliament, the opposition deputies had insisted that the government should be held accountable for the case, urging the ministers of interior and transport to resign

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