Friday, November 18, 2011


A PORTUGUESE court is refusing to extradite a murdering militant, who was convicted of killing a war hero and allegedly hijacked a plane before spending 41 years on the lam.
As we reported here George Wright's murdered gas station attendant and father of two, Walter Paterson, in Wall, NJ back in November 1962.
But eight years into his 15 to 30 years sentence, for killing the decorated World War Two veteran, in 1970, he manged to escape with three other men from the Bayside State Prison. 
Disappearing, the FBI think he hooked up with the Black Liberation Army in Detroit, living in a "communal family"and hatching a daring plan to hijack the plane.
Dressed as a priest, and using the alias Rev L. Burgess,  in July 1972, it's thought Wright boarded a Delta Airlines flight from Detroit to Miami.         
Together with three men, two women and three small children  including his own two-year-old daughter they took the 86 passengers hostage.
Then they forced the plane to fly to Algeria, but while they were eventually allowed to stay, the government there returned the plane and the money to the U.S.
Wright then went on the run before he eventually turned up in Portugal, found because a fingerprint provided by U.S. authorities was matched to his in a national Portuguese database.
He got Portuguese citizenship through his 1991 marriage to a Portuguese woman and after the tiny West African nation Guinea-Bissau, a former Portuguese colony, gave him the new name of "Jose Luis Jorge dos Santos" complete with fake names for parents and made him a citizen.
But although the U.S want him returned  Wright's lawyer, Manuel Luis Ferreira, told The Associated Press that the judge accepted his arguments that his client is now Portuguese and that the statute of limitations on the killing had expired.
U.S. officials were "extremely disappointed" with the denial for extradition and "will review the decision and consult with Portuguese authorities to determine a path forward that results in Mr. Wright's return to the United States," according to a statement from the U.S. Embassy in Lisbon.
The case could be appealed to a higher Portuguese court.

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