February 28, 2006
Marine Corps Deserter Wassef Ali Hassoun
(Beirut, Lebanon) From the Khaleej Times comes the report that Lebanese authorities refused to extradite to the United States Hezbollah members suspected of attacking Americans in Beirut during the 1980s.
Authorities have also rejected a US request to hand over Wassef Hassoun, an American of Lebanese origin who deserted the Marines in 2004 and left Iraq for Lebanon and then left the southern port city of Tripoli for the US. It was reported later that Hassoun has left the US and headed back to Lebanon.The four are Imad Moughaniyeh, Hassan Ezzeddine, Ali Atwe, and Mohammed ali Hamadeh. All but one are accused of helping in the 1983 bombing in Beirut where over 100 U.S. Marines were killed (Clarification from hondo - 241 killed). The other, Mohammed ali Hamadeh, is accused of the 1985 highjacking of a TWA jet during which a U.S. Navy diver was killed.
The judicial sources said the general amnesty law which was adopted in 1991 after the 1975-1990 civil war ended in Lebanon covered incidents of which the four were accused. As for Hassoun, the sources gave no reason for rejecting his extradition.
In a later report from Beirut, The Daily Star indicates that Lebanese officials are still considering the U.S. extradition request.
"The issue is still being studied," said a Foreign Ministry spokesperson to The Daily Star in reference to the latest request by a U.S. official to extradite five wanted Lebanese citizens, accused of attacks against Americans, to be tried in the U.S.To be continued ....
"We have no official final comment at this point," said the spokesperson.