Police: Hasi And His Brother Apparently Did Not Plot Acts Together
BERLIN (AP) _ An Arab arrested in a fatal disco bombing met earlier this year with his brother, a suspect in the foiled bombing of an Israeli jetliner, but the two apparently did not plot terrorist actions together, officials said today.
Ahmad Nawaf Mansur Hasi, 35, and his brother, Nezar Handawi, 31, were arrested Friday.
Hasi is charged in the April 5 bombing of a West Berlin discotheque that killed two people and injured 230 others. Hadawi was arraigned Tuesday on charges he plotted to blow up an El Al jetliner at Heathrow Airport in London last week.
There are ″no indications at this time″ that the two brothers worked together or that Hasi had belonged to or had contacts with any Palestinian terrorist groups, said Walter Neuhaus, a spokesman for the West Berlin Justice Ministry. Police were also interrogating some of Hasi’s friends, Neuhaus said.
Hasi and Handawi occasionally saw each other, either in London or in West Berlin, said Volker Kaehne, another ministry spokesman.
They last met in January or February, but Kaehne said he did not know the precise date.
An official at the Jordanian Embassy in London said the brothers come from a village in Jordan, and a friend of the brothers said the real family name is Hasi. Police in London have said the brothers are Palestinians.
Hasi was arrested at his West Berlin apartment after police received a tip from London police, said Kaehne. Prosecutors have not filed formal charges.
In the apartment, police found documents, some written in Arabic, that indicated he had been involved in the discotheque bombing, Kaehne said.
One of the documents indicated ″that the trail leads to Libya,″ Kaehne said. He refused to elaborate.
Kaehne also would not say whether Hasi’s arrest produced evidence that would strengthen U.S. allegations that the Libyan embassy in East Berlin was involved in the nightclub blast.
Hasi does not appear to be the chief suspect in the bombing, but police have no evidence at this time of accomplices, Neuhaus said.
Hasi was also being questioned about a 1982 West Berlin restaurant bombing that killed two people, authorities said.
Neuhaus said Hasi asked for political asylum after arriving in West Berlin in 1975, but was turned down after a lengthy court process. He married a German woman in 1981 and later was granted permission to remain until 1988. The couple divorced after two months.
Hasi worked until several weeks ago as a mechanic, but was laid off and was collecting unemployment insurance, Neuhaus said.