herald

Saturday 21 October 2017

Families are hopeful as suspect in Irish soldiers' murder held

The family of Irish soldiers murdered in the Lebanon in 1980 said they are hopeful for justice as the chief suspect now faces deportation from the US.

Mahmoud Bazzi was detained last night in Michigan for having incorrect 
documentation.

He is the chief suspect in the kidnapping and killing of two Irish solders on peace-keeping duty with the UN.

Privates Derek Smallhorne, from Dublin, and Thomas Barrett, from Cork, were kidnapped by members of the Israeli-backed South Lebanon Army and shot dead in 1980.

Karen Barrett, daughter of Thomas, said that the family was hopeful but realistic.

"We are in shock. This is 34 years in the making. But we feel a bit numbed. We still have to be realistic, he is just being detained at the moment," she said.

"This is the first step of hope. Will we see justice for my dad?"

The Barrett family hope Bazzi will be deported to Lebanon, and not to another "safe haven" where he could not be tried for the murders.

hnews@herald.ie

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