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Britain Considers Measures to Secure Mufti’s Extradition from Egypt or House Arrest

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The British Foreign Office today was considering what steps could be taken to secure either the extradition from Egypt of the ex-Mufti of Jerusalem or, at least, a pledge by the Egyptian Government that the Arab terrorist leader would be kept under house arrest.

Confirmation of the report that the ex-Mufti had turned up last night in the palace of King Farouk in Cairo, ending more than three weeks speculation as to his whereabouts, was given in the House of Commons today by Prime Minister Attlee. He told Commons that British Ambassador Sir Ronald Ian Campbell was in consultation with Egyptian Premier Israil Sidky Pasha, on what steps should be taken with regard to the Mufti. Attlee made this announcement in reply to a question by Winston Churchill as to what the Government had to say about “the ex-Mufti’s arrival in Egypt and his reception by the King of Egypt.”

“I hope we shall have a further statement of measures taken to apprehend this marked enemy of the whole cause of the Allies during the war,” Churchill insisted. Attlee said that next week he would give any further information that became available.

EFFECTIVE BRITISH ACTION FOR MUFTI’S EXTRADITION CONSIDERED UNLIKELY

It was believed unlikely that Britain could take any effective action to secure the extradition of the ex-Mufti. It was pointed out that Britain and Egypt have no extradition treaty.

The only possibility of action seen here was for the Colonial Office to order the Palestine Government to ask the Egyptian Government to extradite the ex-Mufti to Palestine under the existing Palestine-Egyptian extradition pact. However, the chief obstacle to the success of any such move is the fact that the ex-Mufti has placed himself in the hands of King Farouk of Egypt and asked “rule of the desert” sanctuary, which was granted in accordance with the Moslem tradition of hospitality.

Evening newspapers in London today ridiculed the ex-Mufti’s claim to traditional refuge and emphasized the fact that a small valid warrant of arrest had been issued for him in 1937 for murder of the Galilee District Commissioner in Palestine.

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