December 20, 2005

Germany confirms jailed Hizbollah member was freed

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany confirmed on Tuesday the release
of a Hizbollah member jailed for life for the torture and
murder of a U.S. Navy diver two decades ago but denied
receiving an extradition request from the United States.

"He served his term," a spokeswoman for Germany's justice
ministry told a news conference. She said her ministry never
received an official extradition request from Washington,
though she said authority over the case rested with local
justice authorities in Frankurt, not with the federal ministry.

Diplomatic sources in Berlin and Beirut said earlier that
Mohammad Ali Hammadi, convicted of killing Navy diver Robert
Dean Stethem during the 1985 hijacking of a TWA flight to
Beirut and sentenced to life without parole, was flown back to
Beirut last week.