A hijacker who took a Spanish airliner and a score of hostages on a six-country, two-continent journey seeking his daughters headed for Moscow last night in the apparently mistaken belief that he would be safe from extradition there.
The gunman, Luciano Porcari, an Italian and professed Communist, said as he hopscotched through Europe and Africa that he might finish up in Moscow because "they have no relations with Spain, so they would certainly let me go."
Last month, Madrid and Moscow reestablished diplomatic relations after a 36-year break.
At one point, authorities brought Porcari's aged mother in to negotiate with him by radio, but he rebuffed her pleas, reportedly saying: "Listen, stop insisting. You make me nervous, like you always have."
Then he reportedly told his brother, Giancarlo, who had also been brought to the airport: "Tell Mama to leave me alone. I'm going to Moscow."
The saga began Monday afternoon, when Porcari, 36, commandeered the Iberian Airlines 727, with 29 passengers and a crew of seven, on a flight from Barcelona to Mallorca.
From there the plane flew to Algiers, the Ivory Coast, Spain, Italy, Switzerland (where it landed twice), Italy again and on toward Moscow, pausing in Poland to refuel.
Along the way, the gunman -- whom one hostage described as "courteous" and "almost elegant" -- ordered champagne for the rest of the passengers, distributed some of the ransom money he had demanded and received, and changed his orders frequently.
Porcari picked up one daughter, Margarita, 3, from his former African mistress in the Ivory Coast on Monday during the second stop on the flight.
In Turin, Porcari's estranged wife, Isabella Zavoli, refused to give up their 5-year-old daughter, Consuelo, because, she said, Porcari was dangerous.
Records in Abidjan, the Ivory Coast capital, said Porcari wounded two soldiers and his wife when she tried to leave with Consuelo in 1972. Porcari was jailed for the shootout, but he was allowed out frequently to repair government cars and took a local mistress who bore his second daughter.
Porcari, armed with a pistol and a rifle, freed 16 of the hostages in stop-overs in Turin and in Zurich, Switzerland.
At Zurich, officials tried to talk Porcari into exchanging his remaining hostages for a fresh crew, but the hijacker reportedly pressed a gun to the pilot's neck and ordered him to Turin.
While the plane circled Turin, Porcari's aged mother tried to negotiate with him by radio.
At one point, he reportedly told his mother, "The plane is going to Moscow. Get Consuelo and bring her to Moscow with you. You know very well what my political opinions are," adding that he is a Communist.
When his wife came to the airport, Porcari first berated her and then pleaded with her to take care of Consuelo and their two sons, Ramon and Pablo.
The decision to head for Moscow, came so suddenly that there was not time to arrange for permission to overfly Czechoslovakia and officials said a squadron of fighters accompanied the plane across the country.
After Porcari commandeered the plane shortly after takeoff from Barcelona, the plane refueled in Algeria, and then flew to the Ivory Coast capital of Abidjan, where Porcari picked up Margarita and $140,000 in ransom, paid by officials of the West African nation.
From Abidjan, the plane headed back to Europe while Porcari passed out some of the ransom money among the passengers. The jet refueled in Seville, Spain. Porcari ordered champagne for his hostages, and they continued to Turin.
There, the hijacker released seven hostages and demanded that his other daughter Consuela be brought to him. Mrs. Zavoli refused.
The hijacker then ordered to plane to Zurich, where he negotiated by radio with an Italian official for about 90 minutes. Suddenly, police said, he terminated the conversation and ordered the plane to fly in the direction of France.
The plane returned to Zurich about 25 minutes later, apparently running low on fuel, and Porcari released nine more hostages. Then it took off and headed back to Turin before its sudden departure for Moscow, with a refueling step in Warsaw.
Some hostages freed by Porcari in Turin told police they were not mistreated and their main worry was that police might try to storm the plane. One of them, lawyer Francesco Tamarit Crespo of Barcelona, said Poncari was "a dangerous man" whose mood changed quickly when the plane landed.
When the plane was in flight, he was friendly, I would say almost elegant, courteous," Tamarit Crespo said. "When the plane touched down, he completely changed personality. He became wild, nervous, dangerous in fact, and he instilled fear."