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U.S. Accepts Bonn Decision to Keep Hamadi

June 23, 1987|Associated Press

BONN — U.S. Atty. Gen. Edwin Meese III told West German officials today that Washington accepts Bonn's decision to try a suspected TWA hijacker in West Germany instead of extraditing him to the United States, government sources said.

Meese said the United States wants assurances that Mohammed Ali Hamadi, a Lebanese Shia Muslim, will be tried on murder and air piracy charges, the West German sources said. Those are the charges for which Hamadi was indicted in the Unites States.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Meese was concerned that West Germany might try Hamadi only for possession of dangerous explosives, the charges for which he was arrested at Frankfurt airport Jan. 13.

Concern for the lives of two West Germans kidnaped in Lebanon after Hamadi's arrest prompted Bonn officials to decide against extraditing Hamadi to the United States, security sources said earlier. The kidnapers have demanded the 22-year-old Hamadi's release.

Interior Minister Friedrich Zimmermann assured Meese the more serious charges would be filed against Hamadi, the Bonn government sources said.

Hamadi is under indictment in the United States on air piracy and murder charges in the June, 1985, hijacking of a TWA jet to Beirut. U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem was killed and other Americans were held hostage during the 17-day ordeal.

Meese met separately with Zimmermann and Justice Minister Hans Engelhard today in what U.S. spokesmen had said would be an attempt to convince them to honor the U.S. request for Hamadi's extradition.

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