Jordan court rejects extradition of France attack suspect

A Jordanian court has rejected a request from France to extradite a suspect in the 1982 attack on a restaurant in Paris that left six people dead, AFP reported Tuesday (May 28th).

"The court of cassation has categorically refused an appeal against the decision to reject my client's extradition to France," said Mazan al-Tawil, the lawyer for Nizar Tawfiq Hamada.

The court of cassation is the highest court in the kingdom.

Hamada, a 57-year-old Jordanian of Palestinian origin, is suspected of being part of the group that carried out the attack in the historic Jewish quarter of the French capital on August 9th, 1982.

"The Amman court of first instance decided in February 2016 not to extradite him because the conditions for extradition were not met and the case, 30 years old, exceeded the limitation period," the lawyer said.

The statute of limitations is 20 years in Jordan.

Courts in Jordan also rejected the extradition of Zuhair Mohamad al-Abassi, the alleged mastermind of the attack, in October 2015.

French anti-terrorist judge Marc Trevidic issued four arrest warrants in the same year against al-Abassi and Hamada and other alleged members of the group that carried out the attack.

The attack on the restaurant -- in the Marais district of Paris -- began around midday on August 9th, 1982 when a grenade was tossed into the dining room.

Two men then entered the restaurant, which had around 50 customers inside, and opened fire with "WZ-63" Polish-made machine guns. They also shot at passers-by as they escaped.

Between three and five men are thought to have taken part in the attack, which was blamed on the militant Palestinian group Fatah Revolutionary Council.

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