LONDON (Oct. 15)
Laila Khaled, the would-be hijacker of an El Al jet last Sept. 6, claimed in Beirut yesterday that her companion was murdered by El Al security guards who allegedly shot him in the back after he had been disarmed and bound. A coroner’s inquest held here after the incident failed to bear out her accusation. The jury returned a verdict of lawful homicide, a verdict that includes reasonable self-defense of person or property against attack. Miss Khaled, who was set free by British authorities two weeks ago after Palestinian terrorists freed hijacked airline passengers held hostage in Jordan, met newsmen at a press conference staged by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The 24-year-old Palestinian-born terrorist alleged that she witnessed the shooting of her fellow-hijacker Patrick Arguello, an American born in Honduras. She said she was knocked out but regained consciousness in time to see the El Al guards pump four bullets into Arguello’s back “while he was lying tied up and armless (disarmed.)” She claimed that she was spared because the Israeli technique is to kill one hijacker and take the other to Israel for questioning.