ATHENS (Dec. 6)
The Greek government is refusing to extradite a Palestinian terrorist believed responsible for the October 1982 machine gun and grenade attack on the main synagogue in Rome, which left a child dead and 35 worshipers wounded.
Justice Minister Vaso Rotis announced Monday that Osama al-Zomar, a member of the Abu Nidal terrorist group, will not be handed over to the Italian authorities for trial.
His decision flies in the face of a Greek Supreme Court ruling in October 1984, upheld in March 1985 by then Justice Minister George Mangakis, that Zomar be extradited.
Rotis’ only explanation was that “he is a Palestinian fighting for his freedom.”
The Greek government has gone to great lengths to avoid extraditing Zomar since he was arrested on the Greco-Turkish border in November 1982 trying to smuggle 130 pounds of explosives into Greece.
He was released from jail Tuesday, after serving 20 months of a two-year jail term for carrying an illegal weapon and planning to escape from prison, where he was serving a previous sentence.