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France to Jordan: Respect extradition request of Paris attack suspect

In Amman, Fabius appeals for compliance with ‘international procedure’ for Palestinian charged with 1982 Jewish restaurant bombing

Jordan's King Abdullah II (R) speaks with French Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius during a meeting at the Royal Palace in the Jordanian capital, Amman, on June 21, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / KHALIL MAZRAAWI)
Jordan's King Abdullah II (R) speaks with French Foreign Affairs minister Laurent Fabius during a meeting at the Royal Palace in the Jordanian capital, Amman, on June 21, 2015. (AFP PHOTO / KHALIL MAZRAAWI)

AMMAN, Jordan — French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius asked Jordan Sunday to comply with international procedures as it seeks the extradition of the suspected mastermind of a deadly attack on a Paris Jewish restaurant in 1982.

“I have asked our Jordanian friends… to respect international procedure,” Fabius said in Amman during a joint news conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

Fabius said that such a procedure — apparently an extradition request — was “under way,” but did not directly call for the suspect’s extradition.

On Wednesday a French legal source said in Paris that an extradition request for Zuhair Mohamad Hassan Khalid al-Abassi, a 62-year-old suspect of Palestinian origin, was being prepared.

Abassi, alias “Amjad Atta,” was one of three men for whom France issued an international arrest warrant earlier this year over the attack that killed six people and wounded 22.

He was detained in Jordan on June 1 and later released on bail. A travel ban was imposed pending a decision on his extradition.

This file picture dated August 9, 1982 shows firemen and a rescuers in the rue des Rosiers after the French-Jewish delicatessen restaurant Jo Goldenberg was attacked in Paris by gunmen that threw a grenade into the restaurant and shot at customers with sub-machine guns, killing six customers and injuring 22 others. (AFP/ JACQUES DEMARTHON)
This file picture dated August 9, 1982, shows firemen and a rescuers in the rue des Rosiers after the French-Jewish delicatessen restaurant Jo Goldenberg was attacked in Paris by gunmen that threw a grenade into the restaurant and shot at customers with sub-machine guns, killing six customers and injuring 22 others. (AFP/ JACQUES DEMARTHON)

Between three and five men are thought to have taken part in the attack 32 years ago on the Chez Jo Goldenberg restaurant, which was blamed on the Abu Nidal Organisation, a Palestinian militant group.

A Jordanian source close to the case told AFP on Thursday that extraditing Abassi to France may prove difficult.

“Jordan does not usually extradite its citizens to other countries, even in the case of an extradition agreement,” the source said on condition of anonymity.

“In such a case, they are generally tried in specialized Jordanian courts.”

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