Legislation Sought to Bar Extradition

Premier Menachem Begin will seek legislation barring the extradition of Israeli citizens for alleged offenses committed abroad. He has asked Attorney General Aharon Barak to prepare such a measure which would provide for trial in Israel of such defendants, it was learned.

Begin apparently wants to institutionalize a fundamental principle in some circles that no Israelis should stand trial in a foreign country. Precedents exist in the case of Switzerland and other countries that do not extradite their citizens. Israel, at present, may extradite citizens to Switzerland for crimes committed there even though there is no reciprocity.

But the extradition process in Israel is political rather than legal. The decision as to whether a citizen is extraditable is made by the Minister of Justice rather than the Attorney General. Many legislative changes would have to be made in order to try suspects here for offenses committed abroad. The legal codes and laws of evidence that prevail in Israel would have to be brought in line with those of the other country. It was noted that Switzerland has become involved in complex legal tangles when it tried citizens for crimes committed abroad.

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