RealNews

Pakistani Takes Deal in '86 Pan Am Hijacking

A Pakistani man charged with leading the deadly 1986 terrorist hijacking of a Pan American World Airways jet has agreed to plead guilty to the charges to avoid a death sentence, government and defense lawyers told a federal judge yesterday. Zaid Hassan Abd Al-Latif Masud Al Safarini and four other Pakistani terrorists were convicted in Pakistani courts of hijacking the plane and its 379 passengers on the tarmac of a Karachi airport, killing 22 people, including two Americans. Safarini was released in 2001 after his sentence there was commuted, and U.S. authorities immediately seized him, charging him with 95 offenses, including murder, conspiracy and air piracy. Safarini’s plea agreement requires that he serve a lengthy prison sentence, according to court sources, but the details are secret until a Dec. 16 hearing before U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan. At that time, Sullivan told lawyers yesterday, he hopes victims and their families will have a chance to hear Safarini’s punishment. Full Story

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