U.S. Appeals Portugal's Denial Of Extradition For George Wright
Fugitive killer on lam for 41 years
The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday it has appealed a Portuguese judge's decision denying the extradition of an American fugitive who spent 41 years on the lam on three continents.
The appeal to extradite George Wright was filed with the Portuguese Court of Appeals, but U.S. Department of Justice spokeswoman Laura Sweeney declined to provide the legal arguments for it because in Portugal extradition cases are conducted in secret.
Wright, his Portuguese wife and their two grown children were jubilant Nov. 17 when a Portuguese judge decided against Wright's extradition. The judge ruled that Wright, 68, had become a Portuguese citizen and that the statute of limitations on his 15- to 30-year sentence for a robbery-murder in New Jersey had expired, Ferreira said.
Wright spent seven years in a U.S. prison for murder before escaping in 1970. He then hijacked a plane in 1972 from the U.S. to Algeria along with other Black Liberation Army militants. He was captured in Portugal after his U.S. fingerprint matched one in Portugal's database of prints for all citizens.
Authorities say Wright and three associates had already committed multiple armed robberies on Nov. 23, 1962, when Walter Patterson was shot dead in his gas station in Wall.