Minister welcomes US deportation of Lebanese man suspected of killing Irish soldiers

Coveney says decision is an important step in the process of bringing to justice the alleged perpetrator of what was an atrocious crime

Minister for Defence Simon Coveney: following developments in the case. Photograph: Alan Betson

Minister for Defence Simon Coveney: following developments in the case. Photograph: Alan Betson

Wed, Aug 13, 2014, 01:00

Minister for Defence Simon Coveney has welcomed the decision of the US authorities to deport a man suspected of involvement in the murder of two Irish soldiers in Lebanon 34 years ago.

The alleged perpetrator, Mahmoud Bazzi, admitted in immigration court in the US yesterday that he entered the United States without proper documentation 21 years ago and thereafter lied to obtain lawful immigration status in the country.

US immigration judge David Paruch ordered in the Detroit court that Bazzi (71), an ice cream seller who lived in Dearborn, Michigan, should be deported on an administrative violation.

“I welcome developments in this case. Bazzi now faces repatriation to his native country. He will remain in US custody pending his removal from the United States,” Mr Coveney said.

He added that it was an important step in the process of bringing to justice the alleged perpetrator of what was an atrocious crime, the torture and murder of two innocent Irish peacekeepers.

“I am following developments in this case closely, and officials at the Irish embassies in Washington and in Cairo, which is accredited to Lebanon, are monitoring developments,” said Mr Coveney.

Bazzi’s departure date was not set in court but his lawyer said he expected him to leave within a month.