A suspect in an 1982 attack on a Jewish neighborhood in Paris that killed six people was charged on Saturday and detained by French authorities after his extradition from Norway, legal sources said.
Walid Abdulrahman Abu Zayed was charged with murder and attempted murder by a Paris magistrate who specializes in terrorist crimes, said a legal source who asked not to be named.
He had appeared before the judge after arriving late on Friday at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport from Oslo, where he had lived since 1991.
Abu Zayed was arrested in September in the city of Skien southwest of Oslo and Norway approved his extradition on November 27.
The bombing of a Jewish restaurant in the Marais area of the French capital, which was also damaged on August 9, 1982, has been attributed to the Abu Nidal organization, which split from the militant Palestinian Fatah group.
Abu Zayed has denied involvement in the attack, in which between three and five men opened fire and threw grenades at the restaurant.
My husband never killed anyone. He has never been to France, his wife told AFP in 2015 in response to an international arrest warrant issued by France.
Abu Zayed claims he was in Monte Carlo at the time of the attack.
Opposite his extradition, he told Norwegian authorities: “I do not like France. I do not want to go to prison in France.”
French authorities have issued an arrest warrant for the attack on two suspects in Jordan and another believed to be in the West Bank.
In 2019, Jordan refused to extradite one of the suspects because the case was too old, which hampered the hopes of the victims’ families that the perpetrators would finally be brought to justice.
The case has also been the subject of speculation about shady deals between France and the Abu Nidal organization.
Lawyers for the bereaved say that documents give credence to the idea that the French intelligence service assured the group that it would not be prosecuted as long as it did not carry out more attacks in France.
Former head of the Territorial Surveillance Directorate (DST) Yves Bonnet admitted during a hearing that there was an “unwritten agreement” between the two sides, according to the newspaper Le Parisien.