The trial of confessed hijacker Mohammed Ali Hamadi, accused of the murder of a U.S. Navy diver during the 1985 hijacking of a TWA airliner, resumed Friday in a Frankfurt court.

After taking care of preliminary matters, the court was scheduled to hear testimony from a Middle East expert regarding Hamadi's background in Lebanon.Hamadi, who court records show is 24, is accused of shooting to death U.S. sailor Robert Stethem, 23, of Waldorf, Md., after TWA Flight 847 was hijacked in June 1985 and diverted to Beirut on a Athens-to-Rome trip.

Hamadi also faces charges of air piracy in connection with the hijacking, during which passengers and crew were brutally beaten, and 39 Americans were held hostage 17 days.

During the trial, which began July 5, numerous witnesses aboard the hijacked airliner have testifed against the Lebanese Shiite Moslem, who has admitted taking part in the hijacking but denies killing Stethem.

Hamadi was arrested at Frankfurt airport in January 1987, after customs officials found liquid explosives in his luggage.

The week after his arrest, two West Germans were kidnapped in Beirut, in an effort to force Hamadi's release and prevent him from being extradited to the United States where he faces charges in connection with the hijacking.