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Extradition Talks Never Held

Lebanese newspapers claimed that Israeli and Lebanese officials were to hold a joint meeting at the northern frontier post of Rosh Hanikra yesterday but no such meeting took place. According to Beirut press reports the meeting was supposed to discuss the possible extradition of Mohammed Atouni, a Libyan national taken into custody in Israel after he hi-jacked a Lebanese Middle East Airlines jet to Lod Airport last Thursday.

The Lebanese Foreign Minister, Fuad Naffa, claimed yesterday that Israel “rejected” the transfer of Atouni to Lebanon through the United Nations Mixed Armistice Commission. Israel considers the Commission defunct since the Six-Day War.

Israel has taken no official stand on extraditing Atouni pending an official request by Lebanon which has not been made so far. Legal sources here doubt that Atouni could be extradited because Israel has no treaties with Lebanon or any other Arab state covering extradition. Preparations continued, meanwhile, to bring Atouni to trial in a civilian court.

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