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He is one of the alleged perpetrators of the attack which left 6 dead and 22 wounded on August 9, 1982 in Paris. Walid Abdulrahman Abou Zayed, a naturalized Palestinian from Norway, will soon be handed over to the French authorities. This extradition, demanded by Paris for several years, could lead to a long-awaited trial by the families of the victims.
Norway gave its final green light on Friday November 27 to the extradition of one of the presumed perpetrators of the rue des Rosiers attack which left six dead in Paris in 1982, a ray of hope for the families of the victims awaiting trial for almost 40 years.
Taken in the Council of Ministers, the decision of the Norwegian government is not subject to appeal and must be executed within ten days, we learned from the country’s intelligence services (PST).
Walid Abdulrahman Abou Zayed, also known as Osman in Norway, is wanted by French justice for his alleged participation in the attack that left six dead and 22 wounded on August 9, 1982 in the historic Jewish quarter of Paris.
Claiming his innocence, this Palestinian naturalized Norwegian in 1997 opposed an extradition to France. Validated by all judicial levels in the Nordic country, it still had to receive the green light from the Norwegian government.
“Osman’s complaint was examined by the Council of Ministers meeting before the King. It was rejected,” Annett Aamodt, spokesperson for the PST, told AFP.
“The justice ministry has ordered the extradition to be carried out under an agreement between Norwegian and French police, and the decision must be executed within ten days,” she added.
On August 9, 1982, a commando group of three to five men threw a grenade into the restaurant Jo Goldenberg in the “Pletzl”, historic Jewish quarter of the French capital, then strafed in the establishment as well as passers-by.
The operation was quickly attributed to the Fatah-Revolutionary Council (Fatah-CR) of Abu Nidal, a Palestinian dissident group of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
French justice suspects Abou Zayed, established in Norway since 1991, of having been “one of the shooters of the attack”. Assures him that he was in Monte-Carlo at the time of the facts.
“Crimes never forgotten”
The Oslo decision was greeted by the families of the victims.
“The trial will finally be able to be held, with an accused in the box”, hopes Master Avi Bitton, who defends three former employees of the restaurant Jo Goldenberg.
“It took years of fighting, revelations in the press and activism of lawyers for this trial to take place,” he said.
Norway had not followed up on a previous request from Paris in 2015 because it was not then extraditing its nationals. But the entry into force last year of a legal agreement with the EU and Iceland now allows it.
“The victims welcome the cooperation of Norway and wait impatiently for the French justice to confront the gentleman with his responsibility in crimes that they have never forgotten,” another lawyer for the victims, Romain, told AFP. Boulet.
Abu Zayed’s Norwegian lawyer declined to comment on the ruling, failing to receive written notification.
“I don’t like France,” his client proclaimed during a court appearance in September. “I don’t want to go to prison in France”.
French justice has issued three other international arrest warrants targeting two individuals located in Jordan and a third in the West Bank, all suspected of having been involved in the preparation or commission of the attack.
Jordan has repeatedly refused to extradite the two suspects present in its territory, including the suspected mastermind of the attack.
The case is all the more sensitive as a possible secret agreement made at the time between French intelligence and the Abou Nidal group is regularly mentioned: the former would have undertaken to release prisoners in return for the commitment of the group not to carry out operations on French soil.