Press release | Date: 10.10.1995
The Royal Ministry of Justice
October 10, 1995
Souhaila Andrawes to be extradited to GermanyThe Ministry of Justice has decided today that Souhaila Andrawes is to be extradited to Germany.
On 19 October 1994 Germany requested that Andrawes be surrendered by Norway on the basis of the fact that she was charged with hijacking an aircraft belonging to the German airline company Lufthansa in October 1977. The aircraft was hijacked after its departure from Palma, Mallorca, and the hijacking operation continued for almost five days. The flight captain was shot and killed during the hijacking. German soldiers stormed the aircraft and liberated the hostages in Mogadishu, Somalia. Three of the hijackers were killed and Souhaila Andrawes was wounded. The court has found that the conditions for extraditing Souhaila Andrawes have been fulfilled.
In accordance with the European Convention of 13 December 1957 relating to the extradition of offenders, which applies to relations between Norway and Germany, Norway has undertaken to surrender offenders if the terms of the convention are fulfilled.
The freedom of the Ministry of Justice to exercise discretion is limited to what follows from the convention, the declarations that have been made and the reservations that Norway has made. The hijacking falls within the scope of the Convention for the suppression of unlawful seizure of aircraft. Under this convention, Norway has an obligation either to extradite Andrawes or to consider instituting criminal proceedings against her in Norway. The question is therefore not whether a penalty should be imposed, but where the prosecution should take place.
Serious crimeNorway has made a reservation to the Extradition Convention to the effect that "extradition may be refused on humanitarian grounds if surrender is likely to have consequences of an exceptional gravity for the person claimed, particularly by reason of his age, state of health or other personal circumstances".
The Ministry of Justice has carefully considered the humanitarian aspects of this case, but does not find that they may be attributed such importance, either individually or seen as a whole, as to warrant non-compliance with the extradition request. Decisive importance is attached to the fact that the hijacking which Andrawes has admitted having committed must be described as a very grave offence. There is broad international consensus concerning the prevention of hijacking and other international acts of terrorism. Firm resistance to hijackers of aircraft is an important means of combating such serious crimes. The German authorities have a strong, legitimate interest in having the offences covered by the charge tried by a German court.
ResidenceIf Andrawes were to be deemed a resident of Norway, it would be permissible to refuse to surrender her to Germany. If Andrawes is not deemed a resident of the realm, Norway has an obligation to surrender her, unless conclusive humanitarian considerations indicate the contrary. However, the Ministry of Justice has not found it necessary to make a final decision on whether Andrawes is to be deemed a resident of Norway, because the Ministry in any event has concluded that extradition should take place.
Conditions of the Act fulfilledIn rulings given by the Interlocutory Appeals Committee of the Supreme Court it has been finally confirmed that the conditions for extraditing Souhaila Andrawes have been fulfilled in accordance with the Extradition Act (Act No. 39 of 13 June 1975 relating to the extradition of offenders, etc.), and that there is just cause for suspecting her of having committed the following offences:
- hijacking an aircraft,
- deprivation of liberty,
- complicity in the murder of the flight captain,
- attempted homicide of the German soldiers who stormed the aircraft.
The decision of the Ministry of Justice may be appealed to the King in Council.
The time limit for lodging an appeal is three weeks. Any appeal lodged shall have a suspensive effect.
Lagt inn 11 oktober 1995 av Statens forvaltningstjeneste, ODIN-redaksjonen