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Cyprus

Supreme court orders extradition of Hezbollah suspect to US

The supreme court

The supreme court on Friday ordered the extradition of a man with links to a terrorist organisation wanted by the USA for money laundering.

The court upheld a decision by the Larnaca district court on September 27, 2019 to extradite the suspect, whom the court identified only by his surname, Diab, who filed an appeal.

He faces four charges filed in Florida on October 26, 2016 relating to money laundering, conspiracy to launder $100,000 obtained from an illegal act, transfer of money without permission, and illegal use of a two-way radio.

The alleged offences took place in 2014. The suspect, as a member of Hezbollah, is accused of conspiring with two others to launder the proceeds of the sale of drugs.

The mastermind is believed to be one Mohammad Ammar.

Hezbollah is considered a terrorist organisation by many Western countries including the US, while the EU lists the group’s military wing as a terrorist organisation but not the group in its entirety, though some individual member states have adopted the former stance.

According to US media reports back in 2016, Ammar lived in Colombia and had been charged in Florida with felony money laundering. Another suspect, Hassan Mohsen Mansour, a dual Lebanese and Canadian citizen, was arrested in France.

One Ghassan Diab, purported to be a member of Hezbollah with access to numerous international bank accounts, was based in Nigeria, and at the time he was thought to either be there or Lebanon.

The suspect arrived in Cyprus from Lebanon on March 8, 2019 and was arrested at Larnaca airport on a US-issued warrant.

A five-judge bench unanimously decided on Friday to order the suspect’s extradition to the USA.



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