Ex-fiancee to oppose Hindawi appeal

 

The Irishwoman who was duped by her Jordanian lover into carrying a bomb on board an Israeli aircraft has said she is prepared to give evidence to the British House of Lords to prevent his early release from prison, writes Liam Reid.

Ms Ann Murphy said her former fiancé, Nezar Hindawi, had never shown remorse or apologised for his actions in 1986. He duped her into unknowingly carrying a bag with explosives on to the plane at Heathrow airport, on the pretence that he was taking her to the Holy Land to marry her. She was heavily pregnant with his child at the time.

On Wednesday the British Court of Appeal rejected a claim by Hindawi's lawyers that his human rights were violated by a refusal by the British Home Secretary, Mr David Blunkett, to refer his case to the parole board for possible early release from his 45-year prison sentence.

Hindawi is now expected to appeal this ruling to the House of Lords.

Ms Murphy, who currently lives in Ireland, told a London newspaper that she had never forgiven the Jordanian.

"That man is pure unadulterated evil," she told the Daily Express.

"You are talking about someone who has never shown even a flicker of remorse or once said 'sorry'. What about the human rights of all the people on that plane he was trying to murder?" She added: "He must rot in jail for ever. If the House of Lords wants me to come and show them why, then I will do it."

In 1986 Hindawi had asked Ms Murphy to marry him, and had suggested travelling to Israel, booking an El Al flight for her from Heathrow to Tel Aviv. He could not travel with her because, as a Jordanian, he was prohibited from flying directly to Israel.

The night before her flight he gave her a new travel bag, which he had packed with her clothes. Unknown to Ms Murphy, he had also hidden 1.5 kilos of Semtex explosive, with a detonator hidden in a calculator, which was primed for when the flight, with 375 passengers, was due to be in the air over Austria.

"I was a naïve young Irish girl who didn't think for a minute that he would do anything to harm me or the baby," she recalled.

"He carried this bag all the way to the airport and then gave it to me as I was about to go through. He left me at Terminal One because he said his flight was going from Terminal Three."

She passed through two security checkpoints before she was asked by El Al guards to step aside, and they found the bomb.

During Hindawi's trial in October 1986, Ms Murphy was the prosecution's chief witness.

The case caused a major diplomatic controversy at the time, after it emerged that Hindawi had been recruited by the Syrian intelligence agency, and prompted the British government to expel the Syrian ambassador. The Syrian government responded in kind.