Portugal Won't Extradite Fugitive US Killer

George Wright's lawyer says Lisbon court sided with his client
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2011 12:37 PM CST
In this Oct. 28 file photo, American fugitive George Wright laughs with his wife Maria do Rosario Valente while having a cup of tea in the kitchen of their house.   (AP Photo/Armando Franca)
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(Newser) – George Wright, the killer who escaped from prison in 1970, hijacked a plane two years later, and was finally caught in Portugal in September, will not be extradited to the US to serve the rest of his murder sentence. A Lisbon court denied the US request on the basis that Wright, who married a Portuguese woman and changed his name to Jose Luis Jorge dos Santos, is now a Portuguese citizen.

"The Lisbon appeals court ruled that he had Portuguese citizenship and will not be extradited," says Wright’s lawyer, who added that the statute of limitations has expired. Wright is currently under house arrest and wearing a monitoring tag, the BBC reports. His lawyer has argued that he should serve any remaining prison time in Portugal. The US can appeal the ruling to a higher court, notes AP.

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