The Swedish aircraft hijack from Sweden to Spain ended on Saturday (September 16) when nine croatian extremists surrendered to police in Madrid.
The Swedish aircraft hijack from Sweden to Spain ended on Saturday (September 16) when nine croatian extremists surrendered to police in Madrid. They gave themselves up after three of them had seized the airliner the previous afternoon during a domestic Swedish flight; ordered it to fly to Malmoe in southern Sweden' demanded the release of seven members of their extreme right-wing anti-government Yugoslav movement; threatened to blow up the aircraft and more than eighty people aboard it if their demands were not met; released the passengers after six of their imprisoned colleagues were flown to Malmoa in a helicopter (one refused to go); demanded and received half a million Swedish crowns (GBP40,000 sterling) in further ransom; and flow to Spain where they bargained with Spanish authorities for three hours before surrendering their arms.
It was Sweden's first case of hijacking, and the Swedish Government has said it will ask for the extradition of the Croatians--who are to be charged with air piracy, according to a Spanish Foreign Ministry spokesman. The offence carries a maximum 30-year prison sentence.
The six Croatians released by the Swedish authorities were serving prison sentences for various offenses, including the killing by two of them of the Yugoslav ambassador to Sweden in 1971.
SYNOPSIS: The Swedish hijack drama by three right-wing Croatian extremists began when they ordered a Swedish airliner on a domestic fight to change course to Malmoe, in southern Sweden. There, Justice Minister Lannart Geijer negotiated with them, after they threatened to blow up the aircraft with more than eighty people aboard unless seven other Croatian extremists imprisoned in Sweden were released and flown to Malmoe to join the hijackers. Some passengers were freed after the release of six of the imprisoned croatians, members of the anti-Yugoslav Government movement. One refused to go. The others joined the hijackers aboard the aircraft. But then came another demand--for ransom money of half a million Swedish crowns. Police cars brought the money, and the remainder of the passengers were released while the DE-nine aircraft, with hijackers and crew aboard, flew on to Madrid in Spain. The six Croatians were serving prison sentences in Sweden for offenses including the killing last year, by two of them, of the Yugoslav ambassador there.
The aircraft landed in Madrid after being tracked across Germany and France by radio and radar. After three hours of negotiating with Spanish authorities, the nine men surrendered their weapons and gave themselves up. A Spanish Government spokesman said they would be charged with air piracy, an offence which carries a maximum penalty of thirty years in jail, while the Swedish Government said it would ask for their extradition.