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Greek police release Lebanese 'hijacking' suspect in case of mistaken identity

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By Reuters

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek police have released a 65-year-old Lebanese man held in connection with a 1985 hijacking, saying on Tuesday it appeared to be a case of mistaken identity with a person wanted by German authorities.

The man was arrested on Sept. 19 when his name came up as being wanted by German authorities during a passport check on the island of Mykonos. An EU database had identified a person matching the name of the individual as being wanted by Germany in a terror-related case.

Greek police had said that case was a 1985 hijacking connected to the hijacking of a TWA 847 flight, and an abduction two years later.

However, other than a name there was no further proof of identification from German authorities, police said in a statement.

Greece’s embassy in Lebanon in the meantime had furnished authorities with documentation citing a Lebanese official as saying the detainee was a respected journalist whose name happened to be identical to that of the wanted man, police said.

“In the afternoon hours (of Monday) we were informed by German authorities that the relevant German prosecution authorities will not seek the extradition of the individual since his identification was not possible, and that he should be released,” police said.

The individual had since been released, police said.

(Reporting by Michele Kambas; Editing by Stephen Coates)