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Extradition Battle Shaping Up

Attorney General Yosef Harish is fighting proposed legislation to avoid the extradition of William Nakash, a Jew wanted for robbery and murder in France. Nakash is supported by a coalition of rightwing and religious elements who say they fear he will be a target of revenge on ethnic grounds if he is imprisoned in France. The murder victim was an Arab.

Nakash allegedly killed him in the course of a robbery in the French town of Besancon in 1983. France has asked for extradition. But Justice Minister Avraham Sharir has proposed a special law that would give him the authority to impose a prison sentence on Nakash in Israel equivalent to whatever sentence is pronounced in France.

The case is being argued before the Ministerial Legislation Committee where Harish maintained that the Justice Minister’s proposal runs counter to Israel’s legal system as well as its international legal commitments. He also denounced Nakash as “trash” who “came to Israel in order to destroy it.”

The Attorney General’s harsh words were in response to a remark by Interior Minister Yitzhak Peretz of the Shash Party that the “Jewish aspects” of the case should be considered. Nakash’s attorney, Ronald Rot, filed a complaint against Harish with the Justice Minister. “The Attorney General has no moral or functional right to call my client trash,” Rot said.

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