July 8, 2008 | National Review Online

Achille Lauro Terrorist Released in Italy

One of the Palestinian terrorists who hijacked the Achille Lauro in 1985 — among other things, shooting and killing 69-year-old, wheelchair-bound Leon Klinghoffer before tossing him overboard — has been released from custody.  According to the BBC, Ibrahim Fatayer Abdelatif, who is now 43, spent 20 years in an Italian prison.  The Beeb says he is now a stateless person:  Lebanon (his place of birth) will not have him back, Italy has denied him asylum, and no one else wants him.  [Thanks to John Williamson for the heads-up.]

We could take him to prosecute him, but that would violate his double-jeopardy rights as construed by Italian law and European human rights standards.  I’m sure they’d roll the red carpet out for him in Hamastan, but even the current Israeli government probably wouldn’t permit that (although with Olmert, you have to hedge and say “probably”).  So he will remain in limbo — illegally in Italy but unable to leave.  A “legal black hole,” as the Gitmo critics put it.  So unfair when your atrocities are so barbaric the law fails to anticipate them and give you the necessary arsenal of rights.

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