South Africa tries 43 on hijacking charges

A group of 43 persons alleged to be mercenaries, led by former Congo mercenary Colonel ''Mad Mike'' Hoare, pleaded not guilty to charges that they hijacked an Air India airliner to South Africa after a coup attempt in the Seychelles last November.

No reason was given for the withdrawal of the charges against two South Africans, Steyn de Wet and Theodorus Daniel van Huyssteen, but the men were expected to be called as state witnesses.

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