Lebanese man back home after mistaken for hijacker in Greece

BEIRUT (AP) — A Lebanese journalist returned home to Beirut on Wednesday after being mistakenly detained last week in Greece on suspicion of involvement in a 1985 TWA airline hijacking.

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A Greek police statement said the name on the man's passport came up on a European police computer system as that of a man wanted by Germany over the hijacking, in which an American was killed.

Mohamed Saleh, 65, was detained for five days while on a cruise ship touring southern Europe. He told reporters upon his arrival in Beirut that he was charged by a "country that I never visited in my life." He was referring to Germany.

Asked if he plans to take legal action against Greece and Germany, Saleh said he will discuss it with his lawyer and decide later.

"I am a retired man who was going to enjoy a vacation and received what I don't wish on anyone," he said.

Greek police said the name on his passport had come up on a European police computer system as that of a man wanted by Germany over the hijacking, in which an American was killed.

TWA Flight 847 was commandeered by hijackers shortly after taking off from Athens on June 14, 1985. It originated in Cairo and had San Diego as its final destination, with stops scheduled in Athens, Rome, Boston and Los Angeles.

The hijackers shot and killed U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem, 23, after beating him unconscious. They released the other 146 passengers and crew members on the plane during an ordeal that included stops in Beirut and Algiers. The last hostage was freed after 17 days.