Israel Supreme Court Reserves Decision on Asylum for United States Jew

A three-judge Supreme Court tribunal reserved decision today on the application for asylum in Israel of Peter Lieberman, 42, of Detroit, allegedly sought by United States authorities for passport fraud. The judges ordered Israeli officials to suspend proceedings against Lieberman until September 21.

Lieberman, whose exact whereabouts are unknown and who is being sought by Israeli police for illegal entry, was represented by counsel in an ex-parts hearing. The attorney Eliezer Pugatch, asked the court to call on the Interior Ministry to show cause why Lieberman should not, as a Jew, be granted a settler’s visa under the Law of the Return. The attorney asked that in the interim, Lieberman should not be deported.

The judges issued a temporary stay to enable counsel to submit further depositions by Friday. Among the depositions for which the court asked were details on Lieberman’s claim he had served an American federal agent in Marseilles in anti-narcotics work and information on his entry into Israel under a false passport.

As in the case of Dr. Robert A. Soblen, who died in London yesterday from an overdose of barbiturates taken to delay his return to the United States, the United States Government cannot obtain his return because the two countries have no extradition treaty. But the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv asked the Israel Government to expel Lieberman, who arrived in Israel on August 30 as a stowaway on an Israeli liner.

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