Saturday, November 22, 2008


U.S. convicts (Syrian Arab) “Prince of Marbella” of arms deal

U.S. convicts (Syrian Arab) “Prince of Marbella” of arms deal

reuters Nov 20, 2008

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. federal jury convicted a Syrian arms dealer and a co-defendant on Thursday of conspiring to sell $1 million in weapons…Monzer al-Kassar, 62, a longtime resident of Spain known as the “Prince of Marbella” for his lifestyle in the glitzy seaside town… Kassar has been selling weapons since the 1970s to the Palestinian Liberation Front and clients in Nicaragua, Bosnia, Croatia, Iran, Iraq and Somalia.

In 1995, Kassar was tried and acquitted of supplying arms that were used in the 1985 hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship of the coast of Egypt. That resulted in the death of a wheelchair-bound Jewish-American, Leon Klinghoffer.

Klinghoffer’s two daughters, who sat through Kassar’s trial in New York, told reporters they felt vindicated by the verdict.

“Even though this case was not about the Achille Lauro, I wanted everyone there to know that my father was in the courtroom,” Lisa Klinghoffer said.

(Additional reporting by Grant McCool; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Anthony Boadle)

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