[Updated: Audio added] News alert: Co-pilot 'hijacks' Ethiopian Airlines plane diverting it to Geneva instead of destination Rome

Fox News reports that Swiss police say they have arrested the co-pilot of an Ethiopian Airlines flight who took the plane to Geneva instead of its intended destination.

Urs Holderegger, a spokesman for the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation confirmed that the plane landed in Geneva at approximately 6:05 a.m. local time Monday.

None of the passengers and crew were injured.
The Latest Press Releases from Ethiopian
Ethiopian Airlines flight ET-702 of 17 February 2014
Ethiopian Airlines flight ET-702 on scheduled service departing from Addis Ababa on 17 February 2014 at 00:30 (local time) scheduled to arrive in Rome at 04:40 (local time) was forced to proceed to Geneva Airport. Accordingly, the flight has landed safely at Geneva Airport. All passengers and
crew are safe at Geneva Airport. Ethiopian Airlines is making immediate arrangements to fly its esteemed customers on-board the flight to their intended destinations.
Note that the statement did not use the word "hijacking."
Police escorted passengers one by one, their hands over their heads, from the taxied plane to waiting vehicles.

At a press conference, Geneva police said that the co-pilot had surrendered to police and requested asylum in Switzerland. Geneva airport chief executive Robert Deillon told reporters that the co-pilot who was not carrying a weapon -- an Ethiopian man born in 1983 -- locked himself in the cockpit after taking control of the plane while the pilot was in the bathroom.

Robert Deillon, CEO of Geneva airport, said air traffic controllers learnt the plane had been hijacked when the co-pilot keyed a distress code into the aircraft's transponder,
"There is ... a code for hijack. So this co-pilot put in the code for 'I just hijacked the aircraft'" 
As the plane was over Italy at the time, two Italian Eurofighters were scrambled to accompany it, he said.
"Just after landing, the co-pilot came out of the cockpit and ran to the police and said, 'I'm the hijacker.' He said he is not safe in his own country and wants asylum" 
police spokesman Pierre Grangean was quoted by Reuters as saying.
In an apparent recording of a radio communication between the aircraft and air traffic control posted on the social media site Twitter, a demand for asylum was made.

Reuters could not independently verify the authenticity of the recording and it was not immediately clear whether it was a hijacker or pilot speaking from the plane.

"We need asylum or assurance we will not be transferred to the Ethiopian government," the voice in the recording said, posted by Twitter user @MatthewKeysLive.
State-run Ethiopian television said there were 193 passengers on board the Boeing aircraft, including 140 Italian nationals.

The Geneva airport was briefly closed while authorities investigated the plane, but departures and arrivals have since resumed.

Cairo airport officials said the pilot of the plane informed the control tower at Abu Simbel in southern Egypt that his plane had been hijacked. The pilot did not ask to land in Egypt, and the plane headed for Libyan airspace, they said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to brief the media.