Fawaz Younis, a suspected Lebanese Shiite terrorist, pleaded not guilty yesterday to new charges in connection with the 1985 hijacking and destruction of a Jordanian airliner.
At the arraignment, federal prosecutors acknowledged that the defendant suffered fractures of both wrists after he was arrested last month by FBI agents who had lured him onto a private yacht in the Mediterranean Sea.
The superseding nine-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court yesterday contains additional charges of air piracy, placing a destructive device aboard an aircraft, committing violence aboard an aircraft, and aiding and abetting.
He is charged in connection with the June 11, 1985, hijacking of a Jordanian airliner in Beirut that had several Americans on board. The plane was seized by five Shiite gunmen as passengers were boarding a flight to Amman, Jordan. Following a flight around the Mediterranean, the hijackers released the 74 passengers and crew members and blew up the plane.
Younis, who is being held at an undisclosed location by U.S. marshals, wore a bright blue short-sleeve shirt and dark blue pants. One of two wrist casts had been removed by an orthopedic surgeon.
Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Ramsey Johnson said the injuries were apparently "sustained during the course of his initial arrest at sea."
How Younis was injured "may be a subject of some subsequent litigation," said Francis D. Carter, Younis' court-appointed lawyer.
"There is no indication Mr. Younis took any offensive action towards somebody at the time of his arrest," Carter said.