PARIS (Jul. 2)
A suspected leader of a Lebanese terrorist group was ordered to stand trial for complicity in the murder of Israeli diplomat Yaakov Barsimantov who was gunned down outside his apartment building in a fashionable section of Paris on April 3, 1982.
The order, by a French judge yesterday, followed identification of the murder weapon in a cache of arms found at the hideout of “The Lebanese Armed Revolutionary Faction” one of whose suspected leaders, George Ibrahim Abdullah, has been in custody since his arrest in Lyon last October.
Police said the weapon, a Czech-made 7.65 mm. CZ-70 pistol, was the some used to murder Lt. Col. Charles Ray, Deputy Military Attache at the U.S. Embassy here on January 18, 1982. It was also used police said in the attempted murders of two other American diplomats, Ambassador Christian Chapman who was not injured and the U.S. Consul General in Strasbourg, Robert Homme, who was seriously wounded on March 26, 1984.
Abdullah was arrested in Lyon following the interrogration by Italian police of two Lebanese caught trying to smuggle explosives into Italy from Yugoslavia.
He is not the actual killer of Barsimantov. According to eyewitness accounts, the assassin was a young woman. She was chased by the Israeli diplomat’s teen-aged son to a subway entrance where she threatened him at gunpoint and escaped.