Moscow holding Israeli on Colombian charges


A former Israeli officer was detained in Moscow on charges of training anti-government militia in Colombia.

Yair Klein, 61, a former lieutenant-colonel in the Israel Defense Forces, was detained Tuesday at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport upon his arrival from Tel Aviv. Klein runs the Israeli-based company Spearhead Ltd.

Russian Interior Ministry spokesman Innokenty Nefiodov said the detention was requested by Colombian police, who have charged Klein with organizing training camps for right-wing militia fighting against the government in their country. Colombia is seeking Klein’s extradition, along with that of two other Israelis they say are involved in setting up the training camps.

Interpol issued a warrant that declares Klein wanted on terrorism charges.

If extradited, Klein faces up to 11 years in Colombian prison.

The Israeli embassy in Moscow is trying to arrange a meeting with Klein. His lawyer is expected to arrive in Moscow by the end of the week.

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