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A lawyer on Saturday said Italian authorities are set to expel to Syria one of the Palestinians who hijacked the Achille Lauro cruise ship and killed an American passenger in 1985.

Attorney Gianfranco Pagano said Youssef Magied al-Molqui was about to be flown from Palermo, Sicily, to Rome and then on to Damascus on Saturday.

In April, Al-Molqui was transferred to a holding center for immigrants in Sicily after spending 23 years in prison.

Al-Molqui was a member of the four-man team that hijacked the Achille Lauro off the Egyptian coast. He was convicted of shooting Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly Jewish wheelchair-bound man from New York, and ordering him to be dumped in the sea.

Al-Molqui was released from a Palermo prison in April. A judge then ordered him expelled from Italy.

Al-Molqui, who is married to an Italian woman, served 23 years of a 30-year sentence handed down by an Italian court after the hijacking. He was released early for good behavior.