Lipsky May Escape Extradition

Claude Lipsky, a 42-year-old Jewish financier wanted in France for alleged involvement in a major financial scandal, will probably escape extradition. Israeli lawyers said today. They noted that while an extradition agreement between Israel and France was signed in 1958 and ratified by Israel, it has not been ratified by France and France is not a party to the European Extradition Covenant which Israel has joined. Israeli sources confirmed yesterday that Lipsky arrived in Israel several days ago with his wife and son.

Reports from Paris late yesterday said the French government would ask for Lipsky’s extradition at the earliest moment. An arrest warrant was issued for him Sept. 28 and he has posted on the “wanted” list. A Paris magistrate is currently investigating the financial operations of Lipsky’s firm, Le Patrimoine Foncier, a mutual trust company suspected of having mishandled the money of some 8,200 shareholders. The Lipsky affair has developed into a national scandal in France owing to the alleged connection of a number of government figures with Lipsky’s firm and with that of another Jewish financier, Robert Frankel, who has been arrested. Jewish circles in France expressed serious concern yesterday over the anti-Semitic whispering campaign they say has been started in extreme right-wing circles as a result of the Lipsky affair.

A spokesman for the interior Ministry said today that the Ministry would examine material on Lipsky which it received from the French police through Interpol. Foreign Ministry circles have been notified that they would be approached on the case by the French Embassy. But legal circles here said there were no grounds for detaining Lipsky under Israeli law though his visitor’s visa may be revoked if the Interior Ministry so decides. In that event, Lipsky would be free to leave the country for any destination he might choose.

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