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Norway to extradite suspect in 1982 attack on Paris Jewish restaurant

OSLO (Reuters) - Norway will extradite a man to France who is suspected of taking part in an attack that killed six people in a Jewish restaurant in Paris 38 years ago, the government said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed gestures during a court hearing in Oslo, Norway, September 25, 2020. NTB/Terje Bendiksby via REUTERS/File Photo

At least 20 others were wounded in the bombing and shooting assault on the Jo Goldenberg restaurant in the Marais quarter in August 1982.

In 2015, arrest warrants were issued against three former members of the Abu Nidal Organization, a splinter group of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), a source told Reuters at the time.

The suspects were identified long after the attacks because of statements from other former members of the Abu Nidal group under a French judicial process that maintained their anonymity, the source said.

One of the men, named as Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed, lives in Norway, where he moved in the 1990s. Norwegian authorities rejected an original 2015 extradition request for him on grounds that, in most cases, it would not extradite its own citizens.

Norway recently adopted new pan-European regulations on arrests, leading French prosecutors to seek extradition of the suspect for a second time, and he was arrested in September.

The Ministry of Justice cleared Abu Zayed for extradition to France on Nov. 12 but the decision was later appealed to the full Norwegian cabinet.

“The appeal was unsuccessful and today the decision was final,” a spokeswoman for the justice ministry said in an email to Reuters.

Now in his early 60s, Abu Zayed has denied any involvement in the case. In 2015, he told the Norwegian daily VG he had never been to Paris.

The Jo Goldenberg bloodshed, at the time, marked the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in France since World War Two and came amid a wave of violence involving Palestinian militants.

Reporting by Victoria Klesty and Terje Solsvik; Editing by Tom Brown