LISBON, Portugal – Captured American fugitive George Wright will claim a new identity to keep the United States from extraditing him, his attorney said Saturday.

Wright, 68, became a Portuguese citizen called Jose Luis Jorge dos Santos in 1991 after marrying a Portuguese woman, lawyer Manuel Luis Ferreira said.

Ferreira said in an interview that Wright’s new identity was given to him by West African country Guinea-Bissau when it granted him political asylum in the 1980s and was accepted by Portugal.

The United States is trying to extradite Wright to serve the remainder of his 15- to 30-year sentence for a 1962 murder in New Jersey. He had served more than seven years before breaking out of prison in 1970.

But Ferreira said his client argues that he has the right to serve the time in Portugal because he has Portuguese citizenship based on his new identity.

“If he has to answer to any authority or if he has to serve any sentence, it has to be to Portuguese authorities and in Portuguese territory,” Ferreira said.

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment.

A judge is expected to rule on the extradition request in coming weeks. If he loses, Wright could appeal to higher courts in what would likely be a lengthy process.