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Press ReleaseTerrorism-International
ADL Urges Italian Government to Uphold Terroristís 25-Year Sentence

New York, NY, August 3, 2000 Ö The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today called on the Italian government to uphold the prison sentence of a Palestinian terrorist convicted in the Achille Lauro hijacking. Ibrahim Fatayer Abdelatif is seeking a pardon on the remainder of his 25-year sentence for his role in the attack on the Italian cruise ship in which an elderly American, Leon Klinghoffer, was brutally executed and thrown overboard in his wheelchair.

"We respectfully call on the government of Italy to ensure that Mr. Abdelatif, a convicted terrorist, serve out his entire sentence and be treated with the full force of the law," said Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "Unfortunately, Italy has shown lax treatment toward some of Mr. Abdelatifís counterparts involved in this heinous terrorist attack. To date, Italy has shown no initiative in extraditing Abu Abbas, the mastermind of the attack, who was found guilty in absentia by an Italian court."

In a letter to the Piero Fassino, Italian Minister of Justice, Mr. Foxman urged the Italian government to uphold the original 25-year sentence. Two other hijackers, Ahmad Marrouf al-Assadi and Bassam al-Asker, were granted parole in 1991. Mr. Abdelatif is the only perpetrator to remain in prison for his role in the October 1985 hijacking.

The victimís daughters, Lisa and Ilsa Klinghoffer, have also written a letter to Minister Fassino. "Please donít say that our fatherís murder can be forgiven," the letter stated. "Donít let Abdelatif out of prison before the end of his sentence."

The ADL Klinghoffer Foundation combats terrorism through educational, political and legal means. In addition, the Foundation recognizes exemplary action against terrorism with the Leon and Marilyn Klinghoffer Foundation Memorial Award.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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