U.S. Will Not Press for Lansky’s Extradition

The US government wants to put Meyer Lansky on trial for tax evasion and contempt of court but apparently will not press Israel to extradite the 70-year-old reputed gangland boss. This was indicated yesterday by State Department spokesman Charles Bray who said the US could not do much formally to bring about Lansky’s extradition. He said the charges against Lansky are not an extraditable offense under the US-Israel treaty of 1962.

Bray discussed the issue following a ruling by the Israeli Supreme Court in Jerusalem Monday upholding the government’s decision to expel Lansky. The Israel government, however, promised Lansky a laissez passer that would allow him to go to any country willing to receive him. His US passport was revoked.

(In Jerusalem today, Lansky told reporters that he was “at a loss” about what to do or where to go as a result of the Supreme Court ruling. He said he did not know how long he would be permitted to remain in Israel and could think of no country to go to. “A Jew has a slim chance in the world,” he said.)

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