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London Court Orders Extradition Trial for Orthodox Jew Sought in Israel

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Shalom Shtarkes, the young Israeli orthodox school teacher whose extradition is being sought by Israel for alleged abduction of his nine year-old nephew, will have to stand trial for extradition, on December 12, a magistrate’s court ruled here today.

Sir Robert Blundell, sitting as the magistrate, ruled there are three charges against Shtarkes. The accusations, as listed by the court, are: 1. Shtarkes committed perjury in Israel; 2. He “stole” Yossele Schumacher, his nephew, whose where about are sought by the Israeli authorities; 3. He “confined an abducted person, refusing to surrender him.”

The defense fought hard against further detention of Shtarkes, claiming: 1. He did not “abduct” the boy but was given custody of the child by the boy’s grandfather in Israel; 2. The old treaty between Britain and Israel, providing for extradition, does not include Jerusalem where the alleged offense occurred.

A police official testified before Sir Robert that young Yossele “may be in England,” but said he could not be found and declared that, when Shtarkes arrived in England from Israel, the child was not with him. Yossele disappeared about two years ago, and Israel authorities have charged he was hidden by his family which feared he would not otherwise receive an Orthodox Jewish education.

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