German Justice Officials Recommend Against Pardon for Terrorist
BERLIN (AP) _ German justice officials have recommended against a presidential pardon for a convicted terrorist believed linked to the Shiite Muslim groups holding Western hostages in Lebanon, an official said today.
Abbas Hamadi, 31, wrote a letter this year to President Richard von Weizsaecker asking for a pardon, but spokeswoman Elisabeth Klante said the Justice Ministry had not endorsed the request.
A spokesman in von Weisaecker’s office said he did not know when a final decision would be made on the matter.
Hamadi was sentenced in April 1988 to 13 years in prison in the kidnapping of two Germans, who have since been freed. He was believed to have carried out the abductions in an effort to win the freedom of his brother, Mohammed Hamadi, 26.
Mohammed Hamadi was convicted in a Frankfurt court in May 1989 of killing U.S. sailor Robert Stethem in the hijacking of a TWA jet to Beirut in 1985.
Two Lebanese groups recently made implied threats against two other Germans still being held, 49-year-old Heinrich Stuebig and 31-year-old Thomas Kemptner, unless the Hamadis were freed.
On July 19, the the pro-Iranian Islamic Jihad warned of ″grave consquences″ unless the brothers were released. It accused the German government of torturing the two and demanded proof they were in good condition.
On July 24, a group calling itself Holy Warriors for Freedom, believed made up of pro-Iranian Shiites, released a statement threatening ″extremely negative action″ unless Germany provided details within 48 hours on the condition of the two jailed Lebanese Shiites.
The deadline passed with no further word from the group.
However, German officials said they had asked officials in Syria, Iran and other unidentified Arab states to use their influence to free the Western hostages. They also said publicly that the Hamadis were in good condition.
In addition to the two Germans, six Americans, four Britons and an Italian are missing or believed held captive in Lebanon. Longest held is Terry Anderson, chief Middle East correspondent for The Associated Press, kidnapped March 16, 1985.