Israel May Seek Extradition of ‘dahan’ from Italy; Defected to Egypt

Israel may ask Italian authorities to extradite the man who gave his name as “Joseph Dahan,” after his rescue at a Rome airport from an Egyptian attempt to abduct him inside a trunk. The man was identified by police authorities here today as Mordechai Marco Louk, 30, of Petach Tikvah, who, in 1961, escaped to the Gaza Strip, leaving behind him his wife and four children.

Police here said he was born in Spanish Morocco. They revealed that he was “a criminal case” who had been arrested frequently prior to his defection to the Egyptian-controlled Gaza area. His wife now works as a housemaid. He has parents in Israel, living at Rishon Lezion.

While Israel has as yet made no official request for Louk’s extradition, and the Israel Embassy in Rome has not yet approached the Italian Foreign Ministry on this matter, it was nevertheless assumed here today that some contact has already been made with Italy concerning Louk’s possible extradition to Israel. If Louk is brought back to Israel, he will face charges of leaving the country illegally and, possibly, a more serious accusation of being an enemy agent.

The evening newspaper Maariv stated today that Louk had planned that he would be “planted” in Israel by the Egyptians to replace another Egyptian spy, Salim Maborek, who was captured by the Israelis in the last year, convicted, and sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment. The newspaper expressed the belief that Louk had been in the process of establishing a new identity, as Joseph Dahan, in preparation for his return to Israel under that false name.

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