U.S. officials are criticizing a Portuguese court's refusal to extradite captured American fugitive George Wright.

Justice Department spokeswoman Laura Sweeney says American officials are "extremely disappointed" at the decision, saying that as a convicted murderer Wright's case falls within the terms of the countries' extradition treaty.

Sweeney would not say whether American authorities plan to appeal to a higher court in Portugal, but did say they will consult with authorities there.

Wright was captured in Portugal in September after more than four decades on the run. He had spent seven years in prison for the 1962 killing of Walter Patterson in Wall, N.J., before escaping in 1970. Authorities say he was also involved in the 1972 hijacking of a Delta flight from Detroit to Miami that ended with the plane going to Algeria.

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