Suspect linked to 1982 attack on Paris Jewish cafe ordered to remain in jail
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Suspect linked to 1982 attack on Paris Jewish cafe ordered to remain in jail

Norway rules Abdulrahman Abu Zayed to be detained for 4 weeks pending extradition to France; suspect denies involvement in assault that left six dead and dozens injured

File photo of Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed, alias 'Souhail Othman' as he gestures outside his home in the Norwegian town of Skien some 130 km south of Oslo, March 4, 2015.  (Tomm W. CHRISTIANSEN/AFP)
File photo of Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed, alias 'Souhail Othman' as he gestures outside his home in the Norwegian town of Skien some 130 km south of Oslo, March 4, 2015. (Tomm W. CHRISTIANSEN/AFP)

OSLO, Norway — Norway on Thursday ordered the continued detention a suspect linked to a 1982 attack in a Jewish neighborhood in Paris that left six people dead and 22 injured, pending a decision on his extradition to France, a court said.

Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed, who has been living in Norway since 1991 and became a citizen in 1997, was ordered to remain in custody by an Oslo court after he was arrested on Wednesday following a French extradition request.

Wearing checkered pants and a grey shirt, the 61-year-old suspect of Palestinian origin — also known as Walid Osman in Norway — denied the charges before the court.

“I think it’s wrong to arrest me because I’m innocent,” he said through an interpreter.

“I do not accept the extradition because I do not trust the French government,” he added.

The court ruled that he would be kept in detention for four weeks, a ruling which was immediately appealed.

On August 9, 1982, a group — three men according to the European arrest warrant issued by France — threw a grenade into the Jo Goldenberg restaurant in a historically Jewish quarter of Paris, then opened fire inside the establishment and on passers-by.

The attack has been attributed to the Abu Nidal Organization, which splintered from the militant Palestinian Fatah group.

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

Already in 2015, France asked Norway to extradite Abu Zayed, suspecting him of being one of the shooters based on the testimony of a former leader of the Abu Nidal group and that of a former member.

Norway has previously not acted on the request because it did not extradite Norwegian nationals but a new agreement between the EU, Norway and Iceland that entered into force last year makes the extradition a possibility.

According to this agreement, a decision on extradition must be taken no later than 45 days after an arrest.

The Norwegian judiciary is expected to consider the issue at another hearing.

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