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December 21, 2005
Hamadi Held In Beirut

In a move proving that the new government of Lebanon has more sense and more courage than Berlin, the terrorist that tortured and killed an American Navy diver in 1985 got arrested almost immediately on his arrival. Acting in concert with US intelligence, Lebanese officials detained Mohammed Ali Hamadi and will hold him while they consider a request for his extradition to the US:

The Lebanese killer of a U.S. Navy diver was in custody in Beirut yesterday, according to U.S. officials who decried his release from a German prison last week and pledged to bring him to the United States for trial. ...

Kenneth Stethem, the petty officer's older brother, called the release "absolute injustice," and called on the Bush administration to "bring to bear all of its resources to demand an explanation from the German government as to why he was released."

U.S. and German officials said Berlin notified Washington a couple of days before Hamadi was released. The United States, whose extradition request was turned down in 1987, did not ask that he be held longer because it saw no chance that Germany would turn him over now.

Instead, Washington approached the authorities in Beirut, where Petty Officer Stethem's murder occurred and where Hamadi arrived on Friday.

I recall now when Hamadi got tried in Germany in the late 1980s why it was so controversial; the crime hadn't taken place in Germany. Hamadi got captured by the Germans and instead of turning him over to the Americans -- who claimed jurisdiction for the hijacking of the American plane and the murder of Stethem -- the Germans insisted on trying Hamadi themselves. After Hamadi's sentencing, the US insisted that Hamadi get extradited to the US upon his release, and the Germans told us at that time it would constitute "double jeopardy". We still insisted on extradition, but as this further reporting shows, we knew we wouldn't get it.

And Lebanon doesn't have any illusions about double jeopardy or rehabbing Hizbollah torture-murderers. They may not extradite Hamadi, as we do not have an extradition treaty with the new government, but they're brave enough to detain him despite the pressure that will undoubtedly come from Hizbollah to release Hamadi. That's a damn sight better than the gutless wonders in Berlin that would rather let Hamadi go than to expose the poor dear to the death penalty in the United States, after trying him for a crime in which Germany had no jurisdiction in the first place.

Let's hope we can bring Hamadi to the US to give him the proper reception he deserves for torturing and killing an American, and send a message to the Islamist lunatics around the world: We don't forget. We will eventually find you, and when we do, we will show you we mean business.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 21, 2005 6:02 AM

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» Justice Delayed . . . But Hopefully Not Denied from A Knight's Blog
Captain Ed has a very effective post concerning the release of Lebanese terrorist Mohammed Ali Hamadi from a German prison last week, and Hamadi’s subsequent arrest by the Lebanese government upon his return to his native land. I will not comme... [Read More]

Tracked on December 21, 2005 8:30 AM

» Navy diver's killer held in Beirut (Updated) from Hyscience
... today we hear the good news - behind the scenes, the U.S. was busy, and the terrorist isn't so free as he'd like to be, and soon he just might be in U.S. hands. [Read More]

Tracked on December 22, 2005 5:47 AM


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