- The Washington Times - Monday, November 26, 2001

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
AMMAN, Jordan A Jordanian released by Pakistan in September after serving a prison term for hijacking a U.S. airplane in 1986 has been transferred to the United States in unclear circumstances to be retried on the same charges in violation of international law, a human rights group said yesterday.
Zeid Abdel Latif Safarini was sentenced to 15 years in jail by the Pakistani authorities after being tried and convicted of hijacking a U.S. airliner at Karachi airport in 1986.
Safarini, a member of the extremist Palestinian Fatah Revolutionary Council of Abu Nidal, served his entire sentence in Pakistan and was released following the September 11 terror attacks on the United States.
Instead of walking free and catching a plane back home to Amman, Safarini was diverted to another flight and flown to the United States, where he was arrested and jailed, the Jordanian Association of Human Rights said by phone.
Safarini was due to catch a Karachi-to-Amman flight on Sept. 29; instead, the Pakistani authorities placed him on a Lahore-to-Bangkok-to-Amman flight, the association's president, Fawzi Samhuri, said.
Safarini never made it to Amman, and there was no trace of him until recently when his family in Jordan received a call from a lawyer in the United States, where he was said to be under arrest.
"The United States wanted his extradition from Islamabad in order to retry him in America, although this violates international law because he has already served his initial sentence," Mr. Samhuri said.
Mr. Samhuri, quoting the U.S. lawyer, said that Safarini has been charged with "terrorism" over the 1986 plane hijacking, and was now expected to stand trial again.
"We have sent a letter to the Pakistani ministry of foreign affairs demanding explanations over the conditions in which Safarini was transferred to the United States," Mr. Samhuri said.
"All indications so far show that Safarini's transfer to the U.S. was a coordinated move between Islamabad and Washington," he added.


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