Mikulski urges Bush to seek handover of Md. sailor's killer


September 14, 2006|By SIOBHAN GORMAN

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski called on President Bush yesterday to press the Lebanese government to hand over a Hezbollah militant who shot and killed a Navy diver from Maryland in 1985.

Mohammed Ali Hamadi, who killed Petty Officer Robert Dean Stethem, 23, of Waldorf during the hijacking of an airliner, rejoined Hezbollah after being released from a Lebanese prison, according to news reports.

The U.S. government has sought Hamadi's extradition since the Reagan administration. He was captured in Germany in 1987 and later convicted, but Germany refused to extradite him because he could have received the death penalty in the United States. Hamadi was released from a German prison in December and returned to Lebanon.

The White House is reviewing the letter from Mikulski, a Maryland Democrat. "We have been seeking Hamadi's extradition since his release from prison in Germany and return to Lebanon last year," said spokeswoman Dana Perino. "In no way have we given up on this."

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