20 Dec. Voice of America - Germany Frees Convicted TWA Hijacker.

Germany has freed a Lebanese man who was sentenced to life in prison for hijacking an American airliner and killing a U.S. Navy diver 20 years ago.

German justice officials confirmed Tuesday that Mohammed Ali Hamadi was released on parole after a routine review of his case, and they say he already has left Germany.

Sources in Lebanon say Hamadi, a member of the Hezbollah militant group, has returned to Beirut, the focal point of the 1985 hijacking.

Hamadi was convicted in the hijacking of a TWA airliner that took off from Athens in 1985. U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem, a passenger on the plane, was killed while the commandeered jet was on the ground in Beirut.

The German Foreign Ministry has denied any link between Hamadi's parole and the recent release of a German hostage in Iraq.
Lest we forget...

September 5, 2001
Volker Christian Rath
Staatsanwaltschaft bei dem landgericht
Frankfurt Main

Dear Mr. Rath:

It has come to our attention that Mohammad Hamadei has recently had a parole hearing and that his parole is under consideration. Really? This is shocking to our family. We believed that he was sentenced to life in prison and expected him to serve it in full. This is unconscionable.

As mother and father of slain United States Diver, Robert D. Stethem, killed at the hands of Mohamadi Ali Hamadi and Hasan 'Izz-a l-Din aboard TWA Flight 847 in June of 1985, and on behalf of Robert's siblings, I want to express our grave concern to you that his release is even being considered after serving just 15 years of a life sentence. As you know, in the United States, prosecution of Mohammed Ali Hamadei would have given him the death penalty. In the United States a life sentence for Hamadei would also have warranted him a life sentence without parole. Because he was prosecuted in the Republic of Germany, his fate is out of the American justice system's hands.

Our family spent a year in Germany attending the trial for this criminal, which robbed us of sharing the life of our children and very young grandchildren. We thought the German justice system awarded him a just sentence. To release him at this time would undo all that your justice system so carefully set forth in their opinion and declslon.

I would like to quote a few lines from that opinion:

The court is thus convinced that the accused, were he to be set free today or tomorrow, would re-engage as a Hizbullah fighter. Page 119 of the opinion

It is also not conceivable that prison officials can resocialize the accused and eliminate his violence-based conceptual framework. Even . . . the observation of the accused over many months leads to a specific prediction that even in prison he will remain impenetrable and will remain fixed in his ideological-religious views and will not be susceptible to a change in the sense of living a violent-free life. Furthermore, it can be expected that prison will be experienced by the accused as an unjustified, but God-willed test of patience and that the accused will hope to achieve his freedom through further appeals. This can only mean that there is no real chance of reintegrating the accused into society. There are therefore no reasons to neglect the goals of atonement and consideration of the safety of the general public because of any potential of the accused reintegrating into society. Page 119 of the opinion

Our son was brutally beaten for many hours, shot in the head point blank, and thrown on the Beirut Airport tarmac. He died a violent death at the hands of the hijackers, who did not know this young man, and who showed no mercy when it came to killing him. For this alone, he deserves to suffer prison confinement for the rest of his natural life! After the hijacking, Hamadei and his accomplices stayed in West Beirut, dominated by the Shiite militia, and finally stayed in Iran, protected by the Foreign Ministry of Iran. This too, is recorded in the opinion on page 109.

Now, I will give further reasons that will convince any sane individual how wrong it would be to release this criminal. He belongs to a family that has been a part of the Hizbollah organization for many years. His older brother, Abd al-Hadi Hamadei is today assigned a top security position in the Hezbollah organization. I would expect if Hamadei were released from prison, he would be sent to Lebanon, his homeland. Hamadei's education is limited, so the first place he would go, would more than likely be with his older brother who is a top security person in the movement of the Hezbollah organization.

When Hamadei was arrested, he was in possession of very volatile explosives. Those explosives were destined to do harm and destruction to further the terrorism that already plagued the cities in Europe. I would expect that money and power would reign once more and because Hamadei has no future, would once again seek out his brother's Hezbollah organization, since that organization does employ and pay salary to each member.

Hamadei had no feeling for the rights of others, especially for Americans and those who associated with the Americans. His hatred for Americans could only have worsened during his years of imprisonment and to allow his freedom puts all public citizens at risk.

Our family wants justice in this case. While the American Department of Justice is still actively seeking the apprehension of the other terrorists involved in the TWA flight 847 hijacking, it would be a travesty of justice to have Mohammed Ali Hamadei released. Since Lebanon has not cooperated in the capture of Hamadei's accomplices, it shows that terrorism and all the terrorism training is tolerated within the borders of Lebanon. Surely his release would guarantee that once again the terrorists have won out!

Please, before releasing Mohammed Ali Hamadei, read in full the opinion and decision by the Court that sentenced Hamadei to life in prison.

Sincerely, Richard and Patricia L. Stethem
P.O. Box 331 Port Tobacco, MD 20677