JERUSALEM (Jul. 6)
The extradition to France of William Nakash has been delayed for at least another week. The Cabinet reached no decision on the matter Sunday and resolved to address it again at next Sunday’s regular meeting.
Attorney General Yosef Harish warned the ministers not to oppose the extradition. He noted that Justice Minister Avraham Sharir signed the extradition order after the Supreme Court rejected Nakash’s final appeal. The Cabinet, he said, is collectively responsible.
But Minister-Without-Portfolio Yitzhak Peretz, leader of the ultra-orthodox Shas Party, complained there was “too much haste and enthusiasm” to deport Nakash.
Foreign Minister Shimon Peres was asked in the Cabinet Sunday why he instructed the Israeli Ambassador in Paris, Ovadia Sofer, not to assist Peretz in his efforts to set up a meeting with the French Minister of Justice on the Nakash case. Peres asked for time to prepare his reply. Harish, who sat in at the Cabinet session, said Peretz’s efforts were unconstitutional.
Nakash, 25, an Algerian-born French Jew, was convicted in absentia by a French court and sentenced to life imprisonment for the 1983 murder of an Arab in Besancon, a city in northeastern France. He evaded arrest and fled to Israel, where he has been fighting extradition with the support of rightwingers and Orthodox Jews. he argues he cannot leave his pregnant wife.
They contend that his life would be in danger in a French prison. But an Israeli legal body which studied the matter found this was highly improbable. Moreover, investigations determined that Nakash did not kill in self-defense, as his supporters insist, but was involved in an underworld dispute. One of his accomplices was an Arab and the other a non-Jew of undetermined nationality. Both are serving sentences in France.