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US "Disappointed" in German Decision to Free Hijacker


The United States has expressed disappointment over Germany's decision to free a Lebanese man convicted of hijacking an American airliner and killing a U.S. Navy diver 20 years ago.

A State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says the United States wants to prosecute Mohammed Ali Hamadi in the killing of Navy Diver Robert Stethem.

Germany confirmed Tuesday that it had released Hamadi on parole after he served 18 years in prison. He has returned to Beirut.

The State Department spokesman said the United States is in discussions with Lebanon seeking the hijacker's extradition. Hamadi -- a member of the militant group Hezbollah -- was arrested at the Frankfurt airport in 1987.

He was tried in Germany in the hijacking of a TWA airliner that took off from Athens in 1985. The Navy diver, a passenger on the plane, was killed while the commandeered jet was on the ground in Beirut.

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