Achille Lauro hijacker released


JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Palestinian man who led the hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship was released from an Italian prison.

Youssef Magied al-Molqui left the prison Wednesday and was ordered to leave Italy. He was released early for good behavior after serving 24 years of a 30-year sentence, even though he failed to return to the prison in 2006 after a 12-day  furlough and was later arrested in Spain.

Palestinian guerrillas hijacked the Achille Lauro in 1985. The four hijackers shot and killed Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly American Jewish man who was in a wheelchair, and threw his body overboard.

Molqui is married to an Italian woman. His attorney says there is no country that is willing to take him.

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