ATHENS (Sep. 25)
The Greek Supreme Court on Tuesday postponed for the second time an extradition hearing for Palestinian terrorist Abdulrahim Khaled, who is wanted in Italy for planning the hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro on Oct. 7, 1985.
Khaled, arrested in Greece in March on unrelated charges, was to go on trial here this week for drug and arms smuggling.
An appeals court had ordered his extradition to Italy, where he was convicted in absentia in the Achille Lauro case. But the Greek Supreme Court has now twice delayed hearing his appeal.
Khaled, 56, is described as the right-hand man of Palestinian terrorist Mohammed (Abul) Abbas, said to have actually masterminded the hijacking, which occurred in Egyptian waters.
Khaled, who was aboard the Achille Lauro, disembarked at Alexandria before gunmen seized the vessel, which was on a Mediterranean cruise from Genoa with a large number of American tourists aboard.
The passengers and crew were held hostage until Oct. 10. In that period, Leon Klinghoffer, an American Jew confined to a wheelchair, was shot to death by a hijackers and thrown overboard.