Norwegian court approves extradition of terror suspect to France

Norwegian court approves extradition request from France for suspect linked to 1982 attack in a Jewish neighborhood.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

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A Norwegian court on Friday approved an extradition request from France for a suspect linked to an attack in a Jewish neighborhood in Paris in 1982 that killed six people, AFP reports.

Friday's ruling, which can be appealed, concerns only whether the legal grounds are met for an extradition. Once the judicial process is completed, the decision of whether or not to extradite Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed will ultimately be up to Norway's justice ministry, or government.

Six people were killed when a group of men threw a grenade into the Jo Goldenberg restaurant and opened fire.

The attack was blamed on the Abu Nidal Organization, a splinter group of the Fatah organization.

France has spent years pursuing Abu Zayed -- one of four suspects with international arrest warrants against them -- believing him to be one of the shooters.

Abu Zayed, who has been living in Norway since 1991 and became a citizen in 1997, was remanded in custody by an Oslo court after he was arrested earlier this month following a French extradition request.

Abu Zayed has lived in Norway since 1991 and has Norwegian citizenship, and the country has had a policy of not extraditing its nationals.

However, a recently implemented deal between Norway, Iceland and the EU has ironed out the difficulties and paved the way for extradition.

"I oppose the extradition because I have nothing to do with the attack," Abu Zayed told the Oslo court where he arrived under a police escort.

He has insisted he was in Monte Carlo at the time of the attack.

His lawyer, Ole-Martin Meland, said the French extradition request was "extremely flimsy", arguing that the conditions had not been met, including the absence of reciprocal extradition arrangements, Norway's statute of limitations and the suspect's failing health.

In addition to Abu Zayed, France has already issued international arrest warrants for two suspects in Jordan and another in PA-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria.

Jordan has repeatedly refused to extradite the two suspects.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)



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