Skip to comments.Germany angers U.S. by freeing terrorist
Posted on 12/21/2005 10:31:07 AM PST by txroadkill
KEHL AM RHEIN, Germany (UPI) -- Freeing a Hezbollah member sentenced to life in prison for killing a U.S. Navy Diver may turn into yet another setback for the trans-Atlantic friendship German Chancellor Angela Merkel has vowed to strengthen.
Mohammad Ali Hammadi last Thursday left his prison in North-Rhine Westphalia after a parole board and psychologists decided he was eligible for early release. A U.S. State Department spokesman on Tuesday said Washington was \'disappointed\' by the development.
Hammadi served nearly 19 years in prison for his involvement in the 1985 hijacking of a U.S. TWA passenger plane and the brutal killing of a man on board, Robert Stethem, a 23-year-old Navy sailor.
Orchestrated by the radical Shiite group Hezbollah, the hijacking was one of the most publicized terrorist attacks of the decade. It involved the killing of Stethem, who was dropped onto the Beirut Airport runway, and culminated in the release of more than 700 Shiite prisoners from Israel.
Hammadi was arrested at Frankfurt Airport in 1987 when security found liquid explosives in his luggage. At the time, Washington tried to get him extradited to the United States, but Germany denied the request, partly because it wanted to save the lives of several Germans held hostage in Lebanon. Hammadi was tried and convicted in a German court and sentenced to life in prison, which in Germany holds a term of 25 years.
\'We were certainly disappointed at the time that we didn`t get our hands on him then,\' State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters in Washington Tuesday. \'And we are disappointed now that he has been released before the end of his full sentence. I think it`s clear that ... we would have preferred that he stand trial in the United States.\'
There, Hammadi might have faced the death penalty.
The release couldn`t come at a worse time for Merkel, who in January is due to make her first trip to the White House as the head of the new left-right grand coalition government.
Merkel had vowed to strengthen the trans-Atlantic friendship weakened under her predecessor, Gerhard Schroeder, but that attempt has already been undermined by the scandal surrounding Khaled el-Masri, a German national abducted by the CIA and held in Afghanistan for five months because he was mistakenly believed to be an al-Qaida member.
German-U.S. intelligence cooperation has been further clouded by reports claiming the CIA used Germany as its main European hub for transporting terror suspects in and out of the continent.
Hammadi`s release has been a quiet affair. He was freed Thursday and on Friday flew to Beirut Airport where his family greeted him, Hammadi`s German lawyer, Gabriele Steck-Bromme, told Der Spiegel`s online edition.
She said Hammadi has turned his back on terrorism, has completed an apprenticeship in prison and wants to start a new life in Lebanon.
Some say Hammadi`s swift and silent release may be connected to the freeing of Susanne Osthoff three days later. Osthoff, a German archaeologist abducted in Iraq nearly four weeks ago, was released last Sunday.
Berlin has denied the cases are connected, and says state officials, not the federal government, are responsible for granting Hammadi parole.
Meanwhile, McCormack said Washington would aim to try Hammadi before a U.S. court, adding that it was in talks with the Lebanese government about turning him over. No extradition treaty exists between the two nations.
Tim Stuchtey, head of the HumboldtInstitution on trans-Atlantic issues, said Hammadi`s release is not likely to create a real rift between Washington and Berlin.
\'We simply have different legal systems,\' he told United Press International in a telephone interview.
Washington, however, has indicated it wasn`t satisfied with German laws.
\'According to their laws and their interpretation of the laws, he has in fact served a sentence for all the potential crimes that may have been committed. In our view, he has not,\' McCormack said.
I see the Germans are have become infected with the French disease. Cheney is right. Old Europe is dead.
We'll see how long his lifespan is. Probably pop up somewhere in the line of fire.
Just a body. And pictures released anonymously to the press...
I wonder what the German psychologists use as a standard for determining fitness for release.Is it anything like "gee,it's clear that he has the appropriate level of hatred for Bush,Cheney and Haiiburton,so I vote 'yes'"
Reformed terrorist are usually dead. We will see if he was sincere or lying to the parole board just to get out.
Maybe they will find him stuffed in a pig carcass somewhere. Where are all our right wing nuts when you need them???????
19 years? The average time served for murder in Germany is twelve. This guy got the book thrown at him.
Nineteen years is an exceedingly long prison time in Germany, pushing up against the maximum that anyone could expect to get. RAF member, terrorist, bomber and murder Irmgard Möller was released after about 18 years.
Time to assign a Phoenix team to this guy.
WTF??! Well, which is it: life behind bars or 25 years??
1. This is a state decision by a parole board or whatever.Nevertheless, this case does not pass the smell test. Why did the German government keep the release quiet? The Germans say that the US government was informed ahead of time.
2. The average "life sentence" in Germany is 15 years, so this guy's release was overdue
Why did the Bush administration keep this information quiet until it broke in the media? Was the Bush administration in cahoots with the Merkel administration to keep this terrorist's release quiet until the German hostage had been released in Iraq? Are the current protestations just for local consumption? Who is lying to whom?
Maybe (wishful thinking) they embedded a gps tracker in his skull so we can track what rat hole he scurries off to.
Hunt Mohammad Ali Hammadi down and kill him.
One AGAINST Germany, one FOR.
Let the German bashing begin. Let's see how many posts it takes to mention the....well, never mind.
So far, interesting posts.
Germany will pay for this. It always does.....double and triple what other sinning countries pay.
I bet he's on the military's hit list as we write.
There is probably a nice hefty bounty on him already...as there should be. And, perhaps on the German shrinks (Freud lovers, probably) who gave him the go-ahead for early release.
I'm becoming pro grenade and all enenmy dead now myself.
As some have said later, but I want to address it to you:
19 years is actually a long time for murder in Germany. The average prisoner is out after 15-18 years, so that he was in prison for 19 years is surely not a slap against America, maybe a special hug, even though you don´t agree with our laws.
For anybody knowing the German justice system, it is obvious that this has no relation with the Osthoff hostage case (because of the usual imprisonment for murder).
Thank you for your attention and merry Christmas!
Why does Germany coddle cold-blooded murderers?
You understand that this will be the result of this crazy "anti-torture" law that was foisted by John McCain. The capture rate will go way down and the dead terrorist count will go way up. Prisoners have become a real liability instead of an asset, so why try to get info when the only thing you can do is ask them please.
Terrorists ain't going to like McCains law IMO.
We would never do anything like that in out Country. Here, we simply release convicted terrorists to gain political favor with certain leftist and/or ethinic voting blocks.
Bill Clinton did.
Well I guess every grey cloud really does have a silver lining. Dead Terrorists are good Terrorists. Let's make as many good terrorists as possible then.
I think a couple of CIA agents could "carry out" the rest of his sentence when the d-ckhead is resting happily in some hole in the Middle East.
has completed an apprenticeship in prison ....and is now a master bomb maker
Terrorists ain't going to like McCains law IMO.
I'm sorry, but you're sadly mistaken. Islamist terrorists (I know...redundant) are all about dying for their cause. Being captured is a greater ignominy than dying on the field of battle.
Terrorists are going to love McCain's sheer and uttery stupidity. They've now got a win-win. They can become martyrs, or they can be captured and still vex the "weak-willed minions of the Great Satan."
A returning hero, he'll live well from now on, cheered and feted by Islamofascists everywhere.
What we absolutely agree on is the fact that McCain's bill is .....sheer and utter stupidity.
Because the Constitutional Court ruled, that Art. 1 of our Constitution ("The dignity of man is untouchable.") also applies to murderers. Life in prison is against the human dignity. Only in few cases (reasonable suspicion that the offender could kill again) the court may order a really really lifelong imprisonment, and so it was here. But in these cases, after 15 years, psychos shall visit the inmates from time to time and check their "evil factor". Those whackos often made wrong decisions in the past, and thus we had many children being killed by an released murderer after they abused them. Sick, isn´t it??
In the other cases (normal murder), the criminals are released after 15-18 years.
And sometimes the President will grant them a full pardon.
This terrorist that Germany released after 19 years in one of its cozy prisons in only in his late 30s. He has 50 years of life and freedom ahead of him. He will return to the Middle East a hero.
Stetham, who he beat and killed in cold blood, will never again breathe, laugh, or have joy. His familyy will grieve the loss for the rest of their lives.
Every day this terrorist continues to live, every breath he takes, heaps gross indignity upon the memory of the brave and decent man he killed, and upon that man's family.
Germany has treated the Stetham family with gross disrespect in violation of its constitution.
"Merkel should be told not to come to the US. Germany continues to be an unpredictable nation . The Germans have no principles . They are either national-socialist or socialist. Equality ueber alles ."
Based on your stated replies and defense of Hammadi's release only further show that Germany is a State of no principles. Such a state should not be considered a partner of the United States, whether militarily, socially, economically etc. The United States should not have a beneficial relationship with any nation which can release psychotic convicted terrorists early in their life. If the principles of Germany believe that such a man can be rehabilitated and return his "dignity" by early release, or even believe that such a sentence is considered drastic, then Germany is a nation that should be avoided at all costs in any international affair.
If the status quo of the opinion in Germany is represented by your comments, then i can only believe is it not just the state of Germany but the people as well have degraded into a lowly state of human condition.
How do you know so much? Do you live in Germany? Just curious.
Thanks for the ping BTW
Oh yeah,,,Merry Christmas to you and your family too!!!!
It was an early release and Ostoff was released just three days later. Coincidence? BS. Clearly there were negoitiations between the terrorists and the German government.
If you recall, on October 29, 1972 a German Lufthansa jet was hijacked and demands were made for the release of the three Black September members being held for trial for the Munich massacre. The men were subsequently released by Germany. Some commentators suspect that the German government released the terrorists to avoid the embarrassment of having to deal with them.
Michael81Dus is one of our German Freepers.
Click on his name for more information.
Early release? Surely not!! 19 years imprisonment is years above the average for the crimes Hammadi committed!!
LOL, yeah, thanks! :-)
The way we handle these cases are not much different handled in all other EU countries. Often, one thinks it is ok that even murderers get a 2nd chance (I mean, mercy is a Christian value), but often enough it makes me sick seeing the scumbags walking out of prison.
When your welfare and unions sink your econony to the level of Honduras I'll surely laugh.
if you have a ping list add me to it and btw Rammstein Rocks :)
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