OSLO (Sep. 23)
A Norwegian Appeals Court has ordered the release of Michael Dorff, one of the two Israelis arrested in connection with the July slaying of a Moroccan national, Ahmed Boushicki. The court ordered Dorff’s release in the custody of Israeli officials in Norway on Friday. The ruling was appealed immediately and will have to be decided by the Norwegian Supreme Court.
The Appeals Court voted 2-1 in favor of Dorff’s release, noting that the two Israelis were arrested in the Oslo apartment of Israeli Security Attache Yigal Eyal in violation of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic immunity. The tribunal also upheld Dorff’s indictment. There are “reasonable grounds for suspicion” that Dorff was involved in the Boushicki murder which took place at Lillehammer, 100 miles north of Oslo, the court stated.
Observers here expect the Appeals Court to reach the same decision in the case against Zvi Steinberg, the other Israeli citizen detained in connection with the murder incident. If the Supreme Court upholds the Appeals Court decision, Dorff and Steinberg are expected to be turned over to Israeli Embassy officials in Oslo. But the two, who are widely believed to be members of an official Israeli Intelligence group, will be subject to arrest the moment they leave Israeli Embassy grounds, observers here said.
Norwegian authorities are also likely to direct an extradition request to the Israeli government should the two be released, observers said.