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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The British High Court has ordered a review of the case of a terrorist jailed in
1986 for plotting to blow up an El Al passenger plane, which could lead to his
Overriding the current and previous governments – both of
which have turned down requests for parole – the High Court has ordered the case
of Nezar Hindawi to be referred to the Parole Board for review.
Opinion: Flying is safer than you
is a Jordanian found guilty by a British court of attempting to place a bomb on
an El Al flight in April 1986, at London’s Heathrow Airport. The plane, carrying
375 passengers, was en route to Tel Aviv.
A spokesman for the Ministry of
Justice, who requested anonymity, said on Wednesday that the result of the
review would be binding.
“The Ministry of Justice will make this referral
immediately,” the spokesman told The Jerusalem Post. “The Parole Board’s
decision in this review will be binding on the Secretary of
However, the Ministry of Justice spokesman said the Parole Board
would not release anyone they believe represents a risk to the
“Parole Board panels do not direct the release of any prisoner
until they are satisfied that they present an acceptable risk to the public,”
the spokesman said.
According to court records, Hindawi planted the bomb
in the luggage of his pregnant fiancée Anne Mary Murphy, an Irish national. She
unknowingly took the explosives and was stopped by El Al security
Hindawi told her he would marry her when she got to
Surrendering to police the following day, Hindawi was
subsequently sentenced to 45 years in prison. Murphy later gave birth to
their daughter, and the case prompted Britain to suspend diplomatic relations
with Syria, which it accused of complicity in the plot.
eligible for early parole in 2001, having served one third of his sentence. His
parole was rejected in 2003 by then-Home Minister David Blunkett, who refused to
allow the Parole Board to review his term.
However, in January of 2004,
the High Court ruled that Blunkett’s decision amounted to unlawful
In 2009 the Parole Board recommended freeing him, but
successive governments have turned down his bid for parole.
circumstances, Hindawi would be released in 2016.
The government says
Hindawi is a Syrian national, and will be deported when he is released. At his
trial he was identified as Jordanian.
The Israeli Embassy in London is
unfazed by the reports.
“We expect that one of the finest justice systems
will have no trouble with any attempt to downplay the severity of a man sending
his pregnant fiancée aboard a flight to kill 375 innocent passengers,” an
embassy spokesman said.
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