THE ex-wife of the man suspected of hijacking an EgyptAir flight has described their marriage as the "darkest chapter" of her life.
In an interview published in Cypriot newspaper Phileleftheros, Marina Paraschou rejected the idea that Seif Eldin Mustafa hijacked the flight because he wanted to see her.
On Tuesday, Mr Mustafa, who was wearing what is now known to be a fake suicide belt, took 72 passengers and crew members hostage on board the Airbus A320 which was travelling from Alexandria to Cairo.
The plane had to be diverted to Cyprus and Mr Mustafa was arrested following a five-hour standoff on the tarmac at Larnaca airport. Ms Paraschou is from Oroklini, a village in the same district as the airport.
Police prosecutor Andreas Lambrianou said the suspect told police upon his arrest: "What's someone supposed to do when he hasn't seen his wife and children in 24 years and the Egyptian government won't let him?"
Ms Paraschou, who divorced Mr Mustafa in 1990, said: "Most of the media painted a picture of a romantic situation in which a man was trying to reach out to his estranged wife."
"But that couldn't be further from the truth and they would have a different opinion if they knew what he was really like."
She added: "The seven years I was married to him was the darkest chapter in both mine and my family's life."
She claimed that when she phoned to tell him of their daughter's death, he said: "What do I care?"
"I can assure you, he never cared about me or his children, both when he was in Cyprus and after he left."
Ms Paraschou also claimed Mr Mustafa did not ask to speak to her and that police only requested that she identify his voice.