updated 7/7/2008 3:25:30 PM ET 2008-07-07T19:25:30

Italian authorities have ordered a Palestinian man expelled after he served his sentence for taking part in the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship, which resulted in the murder of an American citizen.

The 43-year-old Ibrahim Fatayer Abdelatif was freed Monday from a temporary holding center for illegal immigrants in Rome, said his lawyer, Francesco Romeo.

Romeo said authorities have ordered Abdelatif to leave Italy within 15 days. He said a request for political asylum had been turned down, but he plans to appeal the expulsion order because his client "has nowhere to go."

Abdelatif was born in a refugee camp in Lebanon but is not a citizen of that country and Beirut will not let him back in, Romeo said.

Abdelatif was given a 25-year sentence for being a member of the four-man team that took over the Italian cruise ship off the Egyptian coast. During the hijacking an elderly, wheelchair-bound American from New York, Leon Klinghoffer, was shot and pushed overboard.

Romeo said his client's sentence was reduced for good behavior. Before ending up in the holding center in April he spent 20 years in prison and three on parole working for a Catholic charity in the central Italian city of Perugia, the lawyer told The Associated Press by telephone.

Others convicted in Italy for the hijacking include Youssef Magied al-Molqi, who was sentenced to 30 years for shooting Klinghoffer, and Khaled Husain Abdullrahim, who was given life in prison.

The hijacking was organized by the militant Palestinian Liberation Front in part to demand the freedom of Samir Kantar, the convicted gunman now at the center of a prisoner swap between Israel and Hezbollah.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments