Court rejects hijacker’s appeal

JERUSALEM, April 16 (JTA) — Israel’s Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from an Iranian airline steward who hijacked a plane to Israel in 1995. Last July, a Beersheba court sentenced Rafa Jabari to eight years in jail for air piracy. The Supreme Court said this week it saw no reason to change that ruling. The justices noted that while Jabari’s motives were not terrorist, he had endangered the passengers and crew of the plane. In September 1995, the steward surrendered to Israeli authorities and requested asylum after hijacking a domestic Iranian Air flight to an air base in southern Israel. The crew and all 176 passengers returned to Tehran some 36 hours after landing in Israel. The steward said at the time that he had commandeered the plane because of what he described as the “unbearable situation” in his homeland.

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