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Gonzales asked Germany not to release convicted hijacker

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official profile; JURIST news archive] requested that the German government not release Mohammed Ali Hamadi, a convicted hijacker accused of killing a US Navy diver, but Germany [JURIST news archive] refused, the Bush administration confirmed Wednesday. Hamadi was convicted for the 1985 hijacking of a TWA flight by a group of Shiite militants seeking the release of Lebanese imprisoned in Israel, and he served 19 years of a life sentence. Hamadi is suspected of killing Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem while aboard the flight, but the German government refused to hand over Hamadi and rebuffed US requests that he not be released. Hamadi was released Tuesday by Germany [Deutsche Welle report] and flown to Lebanon, where the US believes he was released and has disappeared. Lebanon, which does not have an extradition agreement with the US, has been hesitant to track down Hamadi [BBC report]. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the US would track down Hamadi [press briefing transcript] and bring him to justice. AP has more.

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