France Seeks to Try Imprisoned Guerrilla Chief in 1982 Killings
The French justice minister recommended on Friday that a jailed Lebanese guerrilla, Georges Ibrahim Abdallah, be prosecuted for complicity in the 1982 killings of a U.S. military attache and an Israeli diplomat.
Abdallah’s freedom has been sought by terrorists who killed nine people and wounded more than 160 others in a recent series of bombing attacks in Paris. He is serving a four-year term on relatively minor convictions would make him eligible for parole in the near future. Conviction for complicity in murder could carry a long prison term.
‘Position of Firmness’
In seeking Abdallah’s trial on the complicity charge, Justice Minister Albin Chalandon declared: “The government reiterates its position of firmness in its refusal of any negotiations with terrorists. Judicial evidence is now being rushed to Paris and should be acted upon as soon as possible.”
Chalandon said he asked the attorney general to prepare the paper work to prosecute Abdallah in a Paris criminal court, perhaps in February.
Abdallah, presumed leader of the leftist Lebanese Revolutionary Armed Faction, was jailed in October, 1984, in Lyon and convicted in July of using false passports and possessing arms and explosives.
The United States complained that his four-year sentence was too light. The family of the murdered U.S. military attache, Lt. Col. Charles Robert Ray, has asked that he be tried on charges he was involved in the assassination.
Gun Found in Apartment
The gun used to kill Ray and Israeli diplomat Yacov Barsimentokov was found in an apartment rented by Abdallah. He has denied involvement in the killings.
The decision was likely to frustrate further the terrorists who have detonated 11 bombs in Paris since December--five this month--in seeking Abdallah’s release.
The bombs have killed 11 people and wounded more than 250. Nine have died and 163 were wounded this month alone and the groups claiming responsibility for the explosions, the Committee of Solidarity with Arab and Middle Eastern Political Prisoners and the Partisans of Right and Liberty, warned they will strike again.