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Hijack Victim’s Family “Exploring Legal Possibilities” With PM-Hijackers Bjt

October 14, 1985

NEW YORK (AP) _ The family of the American killed last week by terrorists who hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro may file a lawsuit in his death, a friend of the family said.

Meanwhile, in Cairo, Egypt, U.S. Ambassador Nicholas Veliotes said that Leon Klinghoffer bit the hand of one of the hijackers shortly before the 69- year-old partially paralyzed retiree from New York City was shot in the head and dumped into the sea.

Letty Simon, who has served as a spokeswoman for the Klinghoffer family, said Sunday that the possibility of a lawsuit was being investigated.

″It’s too early to say who they might sue,″ Ms. Simson said. ″No suits have been filed at this time.″

Ms. Simon said she did not know whether the Klinghoffer family might bring an action in U.S. courts or those of a foreign country, and referred questions to the family’s lawyer, Jay Fischer.

No one answered the telephone at Fischer’s office late Sunday.

Veliotes, speaking with reporters, quoted one of the American passengers as saying she had spoken with an Italian officer aboard the ship who described an incident before the purported killing. The officer told the woman Klinghoffer bit one of the Palestinians on the hand when the hijacker reached across him as he sat in his wheelchair, Veliotes said.

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