INTRODUCTION: French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing strongly rejected international criticism of France's decision to release Palestinian guerrilla leader Abu Daoud when he spoke at a press conference in Paris on Monday (17 January).
GV Giscard d'Estaing and newsmen listening (4 shots)
SV Giscard speaking in French
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Background: INTRODUCTION: French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing strongly rejected international criticism of France's decision to release Palestinian guerrilla leader Abu Daoud when he spoke at a press conference in Paris on Monday (17 January). M. Abu Daoud had originally been arrested in France on charges of masterminding the attack on the Israeli Olympic team at Munich in 1972 in which 15 people were killed. At the press conference the French President told western allies that have criticised the release of the Palestinian guerrilla chief that they must stop giving France morality lessons if they wanted to remain its friends.
SYNOPSIS: The press conference in the Elysee Palace in Paris lasted Giscard d'Estaing called the conference partly to calm tensions aroused in France by political, economic and judicial problems, but he reserved his toughest comments for the Abu Daoud affair.
M. Giscard d'Estaing pointed out -- as the French court did in making its decision -- that it was not up to France to make a decision on the Abu Daoud affair because the original crime was committed in 1972 in West Germany by a non-Israeli citizen. The French court rejected the Israeli request for Abu Daoud's extradition and the West German request for his continued detention. The French President suggested that it was West Germany, not France, that was responsible for the Palestinian's release by taking too long over its request for extradition. The French foreign ministry asked West Germany to act quickly but they received no word. And in a remark believed to be aimed mainly at the United States who have been the strongest critic of France's action apart from Israel, President Giscard d'Estaing said "France, its people and its laws do not need any lessons from anybody.