Friday, July 16, 2004

English Radio: Iran FM Spokesman Says Saudi National Extradited Upon His Own Request

English Radio: "FM Spokesman Says Saudi National Extradited Upon His Own Request
Spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Hamid Reza Asefi said that a Saudi national Khaled al-Harbi was extradited to his native country upon his own request. Speaking to IRNA Tuesday night, he said the extradition was carried out within the framework of a security accord signed by Iran and Saudi Arabia. He further explained that following an amnesty by the Saudi government, al-Harbi crossed into Iranian borders illegally from a neighboring country just to request the Iranian officials to send him back to his native country. Given the friendly ties between the two countries and also the signed agreement, the spokesman added, despite the fact that he possessed no identification documents, arrangements were made in coordination with Saudi embassy in Tehran to send him back to his country. Meanwhile, the disabled militant who was billed as a close confidant to Osama bin Laden surrendered under a Saudi amnesty offer, the most important figure to turn himself in so far. Khaled al-Harby could provide clues about the fugitive al-Qaeda leader, though a U.S. counter-terrorism official. Al-Harby had been seen on a videotape with the al-Qaeda chief in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 2001 attacks. He surrendered to Saudi diplomats in Iran and was flown to the kingdom Tuesday. Al-Harby was shown on Saudi TV being pushed in a wheelchair through the Riyadh airport. Mansour an-Noqaidan, a Riyadh journalist and former militant, said al-Harby was disabled in both legs while fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan. He used to preach in a mosque in Mecca, but left Saudi Arabia for Afghanistan shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the US. "

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