RealNews

Justice Minister: Italy Wants Abbas Extradition

Italy said on Wednesday it would seek the extradition of Palestinian guerrilla leader Abu Abbas, the mastermind of the 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro who was captured by U.S. forces in Baghdad. “If it is clear that Abu Abbas is at this moment at the disposal of the American authorities, we will ask the American government for extradition,” Justice Minister Roberto Castelli told Reuters Television. Abbas, captured in a raid in southern Baghdad on Monday night, planned the hijacking of the Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean in which a disabled elderly American Jewish passenger, Leon Klinghoffer, was shot and thrown overboard. Castelli, who spoke on the sidelines of a police ceremony in Rome, said some legal questions have to be cleared up first but that Italy definitely wanted Abbas. He said the Italian government had asked Egypt and Jordan in the past few months for the extradition of Abbas when Rome believed that he may have been in those countries. “We wanted to get Abu Abbas on our territory in order to put him on trial,” Castelli said. Full Story

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