Ten years ago on this date, November 30, 2005, a Lebanese Terrorist, was paroled in Germany. I will post information about this terrorist from Wikipedia.
Mohammed Ali Hammadi in 2005
Mohammed Ali Hammadi (Arabic: محمد علي حمادي), also known as Mohammed Ali Hamadi and Mohammed Ali Hamadei, (born 13 June 1964 in Lebanon) is one of the list of FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists. A Lebanesecitizen and alleged member of Hezbollah, he was convicted in a West German court of law of air piracy, murder, and possession of explosives for his part in the 14 June 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847.
Under indictment by US law enforcement for crimes related to the same hijacking, during which one passenger, U.S. NavySeabee diver Robert Stethem, was extensively tortured prior to being murdered, Hammadi was sentenced to life imprisonment by the West German court. He was imprisoned in 1987 in West Germany for 19 years, but was abruptly paroled in 2005, and became a fugitive from the United States Department of Justice, which listed him as one of the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists in 2006. He is believed to reside in Lebanon, where he may have rejoined Hezbollah.
There has been speculation that his parole was granted as part of a covert prisoner swap, in exchange for the release of Susanne Osthoff. Taken hostage in Iraq a month prior, Osthoff was released the week of Hammadi's parole.
Imprisoned in West Germany
Two years after the TWA Flight 847 attack, Hammadi was arrested in Frankfurt, West Germany, in 1987 while attempting to smuggle liquid explosives. The United States immediately requested his extradition but Hizbullah immediately abducted two West Germans in Beirut, and threatened to kill them if Hamadei were extradited. Then it was decided to try Hamadei in West Germany. In addition to the charges in West Germany of illegal importation of explosives, he was charged with the 1985 hijacking and hostage taking; tried and convicted of Stethem's 1985 murder, he was sentenced to life in prison.
The first opportunity for parole to be granted on a life sentence in Germany is ordinarily after 15 years. However Hammadi's life sentence included a provision that due to an exceptional grave degree of guilt the first parole review was to be later. The Landgericht (regional court) Kleve decided on 30 November 2005, to grant Hammadi's application for parole, after his having served 19 years of his term. The US government has sought his extradition from Lebanon.
Fugitive in Lebanon
His indicted accomplices in the TWA Flight 847 attack, Hassan Izz-Al-Din and Ali Atwa continue to elude arrest and currently remain at large, having been placed among the original 22 fugitives on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list on 10 October 2001, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Another accomplice, Imad Mughniyeh, was killed on 12 February 2008 in a car-bombing attack in Damascus, Syria. Those responsible for this attack remain unknown as of 13 February 2008.
On 14 February 2006, the United States federal government, through the ambassador to Lebanon, had formally asked the Lebanese government to extradite Mohammed Ali Hammadi for the murder of Robert Stethem during the 1985 hijacking. On 24 February 2006, he joined his accomplices on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list, under the name Mohammed Ali Hamadei.
Several news outlets reported the announcement by Hezbollah of the death of Imad Mugniyah by explosion in Syria on 13 February 2008. The remaining three fugitives from TWA Flight 847 remain on the list, and at large.
On 12 September 2006, a "Bush administration official" indicated that Hammadi had rejoined Hezbollah upon his release from German prison.
On 12 February 2007, the FBI announced a new $5 million reward for information leading to the recapture of Hammadi.
According to Deutsche Presse-Agentur, unconfirmed Pakistaniintelligence sources reported Hammadi killed in a CIA drone strike inside Pakistan in June 2010. Other sources dispute this.
Hammadi remains on the FBI's Most Wanted Terrorists list.
70 years ago on this date, December 1, 1945, a German General, Anton Dostler was executed by firing squad in Aversa, Italy. The trial found General Dostler guilty of war crimes, rejecting the defense of Superior Orders. I will post information about this War Criminal from Wikipedia, in accordance to the same date of his execution.
Anton Dostler(Munich, May 10, 1891 – Aversa, December 1, 1945) was a general of the infantry in the regular German Army during World War II. In the first Allied war trial after the war, Dostler was found guilty of war crimes and executed by a firing squad.
Anton Dostler joined the German Army in 1910 and served as a junior officer during World War I. From the start of World War II to 1940, he served as chief of staff of the 7th Army. Subsequently, he commanded the 57th Infantry Division (1941–1942), the 163rd Infantry Division (1942) and after some temporary stand-ins at corps, was appointed commander of 75th Army Corps (Jan-July 1944) in Italy and then as commander of the Venetian Coast (Sept to Nov 1944) when its name was changed to 73rd Army Corps, at which he finished the war.
Execution of U.S. soldiers
On March 22, 1944, fifteen soldiers of the U.S. Army, including two officers, landed on the Italian coast about 15 kilometres north of La Spezia, 400 km (250 miles) behind the then established front, as part of Operation Ginny II. They were all properly dressed in the field uniform of the U.S. Army and carried no civilian clothes. Their objective was to demolish a tunnel at Framura on the important railroad line between La Spezia and Genoa. Two days later, the group was captured by a party of Italian Fascist soldiers and members of the German Heer. They were taken to La Spezia, where they were confined near the headquarters of the 135th Fortress Brigade, which was under the command of German Colonel Almers. The immediate, superior command was that of the 75th Army Corps, commanded by Dostler.
The captured U.S. soldiers were interrogated and one of the U.S. officers revealed the story of the mission. The information, including that it was a commando raid, was then sent to Dostler at the 75th Army Corps. The following day (March 25), Dostler informed his superior, Field MarshalAlbert Kesselring, commanding general of all German forces in Italy, about the captured U.S. commandos and asked what to do with them. According to Dostler's adjutantofficer, Kesselring responded by ordering the execution. Later that day, Dostler sent a telegram to the 135th Fortress Brigade ordering that the captured soldiers be executed. This order was an implementation of Hitler'ssecret Commando Order of 1942 which required the immediate execution without trial of commandos and saboteurs. German officers at the 135th Fortress Brigade contacted Dostler in an attempt to achieve a delay of their execution. Dostler then sent another telegram ordering Almers to carry out the execution. Two last attempts were made by the officers at the 135th to stop the execution, including some by telephone, because they knew that executing uniformed prisoners of war was a direct violation of the 1929 Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War. These efforts were unsuccessful and the fifteen Americans were executed on the morning of March 26, 1944, at Punta Bianca south of La Spezia, in the municipalityof Ameglia. Their bodies were buried in a mass grave that was then camouflaged. Alexander zu Dohna-Schlobitten, a member of Dostler's staff who was unaware of the secret Commando Order and who had refused to sign the execution order, was dismissed from the Wehrmacht for insubordination.
Dostler tied to a stake before the execution
Dostler's body immediately after the execution
German General Anton Dostler's body slumps toward the ground after being executed by a firing squad at Aversa, Italy. The hands still grip a rosary. The general was convicted and sentenced to death by an American Military Tribunal.
Trial, execution, and notoriety
Dostler became a prisoner of the Americans on 8 May 1945 and was put before a military tribunal at the seat of the Supreme Allied Commander, the Royal Palace in Caserta, on 8 October 1945. In the first Alliedwar trial, he was accused of carrying out an illegal order. In his defense, he maintained that he had not issued the order, but had only passed along an order to Colonel Almers from supreme command, and that the execution of the OSS men was a lawful reprisal. Dostler's plea of Superior Orders failed because ordering the execution, he had acted on his own outside the Führer's order. The military commission also rejected his plea, declaring that Dostler's execution of U.S. soldiers was in violation of Article 2 of the 1929 Geneva Convention on Prisoners of War, which prohibited acts of reprisals against prisoners of war. The commission stated that "No soldier, and still less a Commanding General, can be heard to say that he considered the summary shooting of prisoners of war legitimate even as a reprisal."
Under the 1907 Hague Convention on Land Warfare, it was legal to execute spies and saboteurs disguised in civilian clothes or enemy uniforms but excluded those who were captured in proper uniforms. Since fifteen U.S. soldiers were properly dressed in U.S. uniforms behind enemy lines and not disguised in civilian clothes or enemy uniforms, they were not to be treated as spies but prisoners of war, which Dostler violated.
The trial found General Dostler guilty of war crimes, rejecting the defense of superior orders. He was sentenced to death and executed by a 12 man firing squad at 0800 hours on December 1, 1945 in Aversa. The execution was photographed on black and whitestilland movie cameras. Immediately after the execution Dostler's body was lifted onto a stretcher, shrouded inside a white cotton mattress cover and driven away in an army truck. His remains were subsequently buried in Grave 93/95 of Section H at PomeziaGerman War Cemetery.
Ten years ago on this date, December 2, 2005, Kenneth Lee Boyd became the 1,000th person executed since the United States Supreme Court lifted a ban on capital punishment in Gregg v. Georgia. I will post information about him from Wikipedia and other links.
Kenneth Lee Boyd
Boyd was the 1,000th person executed since the United States Supreme Court lifted a ban on capital punishment in Gregg v. Georgia.
After leaving school in the ninth grade, Boyd later joined the United States Army and volunteered for a tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967. Two years later he received an honorable discharge. After his first marriage had ended in divorce, he married Julie. This second marriage, which resulted in three boys, had a series of arguments, separations, and reconciliations.
On March 4, 1988 he went to the house of her father, where she and their children were living, while Boyd and Julie were separated once again. He told police that he found the door unlocked and entered with a .357 Magnumpistol. Seeing a silhouette that he thought was Thomas, he fired and hit him. He continued firing as he moved through the house, finding Julie in the kitchen. While reloading he heard her moan and so shot her again. He fired at anything that moved and then rang 9-1-1 and told police to "come and get me". When they arrived, Boyd emerged from nearby woods and surrendered. He gave a full confession after being read his Miranda warning. Boyd was arrested and sentenced to death row.
Trial and appeals
After being indicted on May 16, 1988, he was tried, convicted and received a death sentence for each murder from a jury in Rockingham County. This conviction and sentence was overturned on appeal to the North Carolina Supreme Court on the grounds that a juror was improperly excused after a private, unrecorded bench conference with the juror. A new trial resulted in Boyd once again being convicted and sentenced to death on July 14, 1994. The sole aggravating circumstance was that the murder was committed during the commission of other acts of violence.
In the early hours of December 2, 2005, Boyd was executed by lethal injection. He was pronounced dead at 2:15 a.m.. He would be the 1,000th person to be executed since 1977, when the death penalty was reinstated.
In his final statement, he asked that his son and grandchildren be looked after and finished with "God bless everybody in here."
Boyd's last meal consisted of New York strip steak, a baked potato with sour cream, salad with ranch dressing, and cola.
Ten years ago on this date, 2 December 2005, a Vietnamese Australian convicted Drug Trafficker, Van Tuong Nguyen was executed by hanging at Changi Prison in Singapore. He was arrested at Changi Airport on 12 December 2002 when he was caught with 396.2g of heroine strapped to his body. I will post this article on why he deserved to die.
Why Nguyen must die
By Joseph Koh
November 30, 2005
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Singapore's decision to execute Nguyen Tuong Van for drug trafficking is correct and responsible.
ALTHOUGH opinions in Australia are not unanimous, many Australians strongly oppose Singapore's decision not to commute the death sentence on Mr Nguyen Tuong Van for drug trafficking. I respect these views, which spring from a deep sense of human compassion. However, the outcry has also made it difficult to separate fact from fiction.
Fiction No. 1: Singapore has breached international law.
There is no international agreement to abolish the death penalty. Capital punishment remains part of the criminal justice systems of 76 countries, including in the United States, where it is practised in 38 states.
We respect Australia's sovereign choice not to have capital punishment. We hope Australia will likewise respect Singapore's sovereign choice to impose the death penalty for the most serious crimes, including drug trafficking. The overwhelming majority of Singaporeans support this.
Fiction No. 2: The death penalty has not deterred drug trafficking.
This logic is flawed. The death penalty has not completely eliminated drug trafficking, but it has certainly deterred drug trafficking. Since the introduction of tough anti-drug laws in the mid-1970s, drug trafficking and drug abuse in Singapore have come down significantly. Potential traffickers know that, once arrested, they face the full weight of the law.
Fiction No. 3: Mr Nguyen is an unsuspecting victim
Mr Nguyen may not be a hardened criminal, but he is not an unsuspecting victim either. He knew what he was doing and the penalty if he was caught. Had he succeeded, he would have made a lot of money. If we let off a convicted courier because of age, financial difficulties or distressed family background, it will only make it easier for drug traffickers to recruit more "mules", with the assurance that they will escape the death penalty.
Fiction No 4: The punishment does not fit crime.
Mr Nguyen was caught with 396 grams of pure heroin, enough for 26,000 "hits", with a street value of more than $A1 million.
Yes, he was transiting Singapore, and not smuggling drugs into the country, but Singapore simply cannot afford to allow itself to become a transit hub for illicit drugs in the region.
Fiction No. 5: Mr Nguyen can testify against Mr Bigs.
All drug syndicates assume that some of their couriers will get caught. They never let the couriers know enough to incriminate themselves. The information that Mr Nguyen provided to the Singapore authorities was of limited value, and was, in fact, intended to mislead and delay the investigation.
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Fiction No. 6: Singapore connives with drug lords.
This is an old falsehood propagated by Dr Chee Soon Juan (Singapore opposition leader). He has alleged that the Singapore Government had invested in projects in Myanmar (Burma) that supported the drug trade. When this first surfaced in 1996, the Singapore Government explained that its investment in the Myanmar Fund was completely open and above board. The fund held straightforward commercial investments in hotels and companies. Other investors in the fund included Coutts & Co, an old British bank, and the Swiss Bank Corporation. The Singapore Government offered to set up a commission of inquiry so Dr Chee could produce evidence to prove his wild allegations. Unfortunately, Dr Chee never took up the offer.
Fiction No. 7: Singapore has treated Australia with contempt.
Singapore highly values good relations with Australia and with Australian leaders. We share a common belief in the sanctity of the law. The Singapore cabinet deliberated at length on Mr Nguyen's clemency petition. It considered all relevant factors, including Mr Nguyen's personal circumstances, and the many public and private appeals from Australian leaders. Unfortunately, finally the cabinet decided that it could not justify making an exception for Mr Nguyen. It had to treat Mr Nguyen consistently with similar past cases, and apply the law equally to Singaporeans and foreigners.
Singapore's leaders have taken pains to explain our decision to Australian leaders, both in writing and in person. Singapore's Foreign Minister had also informed Foreign Minister Alexander Downer confidentially in advance of when the family would be notified of the execution date, and explained to Mr Downer that that the family should be the first to learn of the execution date. So when Singapore's Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, met Prime Minister John Howard in Busan, he could not inform Mr Howard of the execution date either. Mr Lee did not know that the letter of notification had by mistake already been delivered to Mrs Kim Nguyen, one day early. Once Mr Lee discovered what had happened, he promptly apologised to Mr Howard.
Australians who oppose the death sentence on Mr Nguyen will not agree with everything I have said. But I hope they will accept that the Singapore Government has a responsibility to protect the many lives that would otherwise be blighted and destroyed by the drug syndicates, and to prevent Singapore from becoming a conduit for illicit drugs in the region. We are all touched by the pain and anguish of Mr Nguyen's mother, but if we waver in our firm position against drug trafficking, many more families will be shattered.
Joseph K. H. Koh is Singapore high commissioner in Australia.