ROME (Nov. 24)
Mordecai Louk, the man who was rescued by the police in Rome from abduction by Egyptian diplomats who brought him in a sealed “diplomatic” trunk to the Rome airfield for shipment on an Egyptian airplane to Cairo, left today for Israel to face charges of desertion there.
Prior to his departure, he told a press conference that he had asked to return to Israel, because he feels he would be secure there, though he understood he would be arrested on arrival. He said he was ready to pay the penalty for any crime, but added that he did not feel he was a deserter because he had not been in military service when he crossed the border to the Egyptian-held Gaza Strip in 1961.
He reiterated earlier statements that he had been kept in an Egyptian prison for 21 months, despite promises on the Cairo radio that escapees from Israel would be given the opportunity by Egyptian authorities to emigrate overseas.
Asked why he did not register in Frankfurt with the Israel Consulate when he was in West Germany, he replied that he had been afraid of Egyptian threats against his life and against the lives of his four children in Israel. He insisted that he had never furnished any information either to Egypt or to Israel.