The French authorities released Palestinian guerrilla leader Abu Daoud on Tuesday (11 January) - causing an immediate deterioration in France's relations with Israel.
The French authorities released Palestinian guerrilla leader Abu Daoud on Tuesday (11 January) - causing an immediate deterioration in France's relations with Israel. Daoud, who flew to Algeria later in the day, is suspected of the 1972 attack on the Israeli Olympic team in Munich in which 17 people were killed. Israel wanted Daoud extradited to stand trial for the crimes and West Germany had requested Daoud's continued detention - but a French court rejected both requests.
SYNOPSIS: Four Palestinians have been murdered in France in the same number of years-and there was strong security near the court in Paris. Abu Daoud had come to France to attend the funeral of Palestinian Mahmoud Saleh who was shot last week. On Friday (7 January) French police arrested Daoud at the Paris hotel, where he had been staying under the name of Youssef Radji.
Inside the court the tribunal said it was rejecting the Israeli demand because the offences referred to took place three years before France passed a law which would have allowed the court to hear the Israeli request.
M. Daoud left the court in a police van with escort after the successful hearing. The tribunal had given other reasons for rejecting the requests for M. Daoud's extradition or continued detention. To the Israeli request the court added that the offences took place in West Germany and were committed by a non-Israeli citizen. The West German request for continued detention was turned down on the grounds that it should have been followed immediately by a formal extradition demand from the West German Federal authorities. Arab ambassadors in Paris had led a political campaign for M. Daoud's release and M. Daoud himself told the court that his arrest had only a political motive. He demanded the protection of French justice.
In London French Prime Minister Raymond Barre, who was visiting British Prime Minister James Callaghan, was questioned about M. Daoud's release.