Friday, May 1, 2009

Italy frees Achille Lauro hijacker

from the AP via Yahoo! News: Italy frees hijacker of Achille Lauro ship

One of the Palestinians who hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship and killed an American passenger in 1985 has been released after more than 23 years in jail, officials said Thursday.

Youssef Magied al-Molqui left prison in Palermo, Sicily, on Wednesday and was transferred to a holding center for immigrants in nearby Trapani while officials work to expel him, police in the Sicilian capital said.

Al-Molqui, a member of the four-man team that hijacked the Achille Lauro off the Egyptian coast, had been serving a 30-year sentence, which was reduced for good behavior.

He was convicted of shooting Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly Jewish man from New York, and ordering him to be dumped in the sea while in his wheelchair.

Klinghoffer's daughters and the Anti-Defamation League condemned Al-Molqui's early release.

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