Netherlands asks Israel to extradite molestation suspect

(JTA) — The Netherlands is seeking the extradition from Israel of a Dutch teacher suspected of molesting pupils at an Orthodox Jewish school near Amsterdam.

The request was sent last week by the Public Prosecution Service of the District Court of Amsterdam, the court’s press officer, Franklin Wattimena, told JTA on Thursday.

The 26-year-old man identified in Dutch media as Ephraim S. left the Netherlands for Israel in 2012 amid allegations that he molested several pupils at the Cheider school in Buitenveldert near the Dutch capital.

“We have been busy for a while with filing the request,” Wattimena told JTA. “The Israeli authorities place higher demands than what we are used to. We need, according to the Israeli legal system, to present more [proof] of plausibility with regards to the former teacher. The investigation continues.”

The prosecution service declined to specify what actions Ephraim S. is suspected of committing. One parent told JTA that Ephraim S. gave massages to his son. He also is suspected of having relations of a sexual nature with a 16-year-old boy.

Geert-Jan Knoops, the lawyer for Ephraim S., denied any wrongdoing by his client. Knoops told the Volkskrant daily that he has filed a complaint against the prosecutors handling the case for withholding evidence that prevents his client from defending himself against allegations in the media.

According to De Telegraaf daily, Israeli police have placed no restrictions on the movement of Ephraim S. and he has given private lessons to pupils in Israel.

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