Moscow court allows Israeli’s extradition


A Moscow court approved the extradition of an Israeli businessman and former military official to Colombia.

Yair Klein has been sentenced to more than 10 years in a Colombia prison for training paramilitary forces, a court spokeswoman said Wednesday.


Klein, a retired lieutenant colonel in the Israeli army, has 10 days to appeal the Moscow City Court’s decision, spokeswoman Anna Usacheva told JTA. Klein’s lawyer, Mordehai Tzivin, is expected to submit an appeal.


Following a tip from Interpol, Klein was detained last August at Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport as he prepared to board a plane to Israel.


Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livini had privately urged her Russian counterpart to find some way to avoid extradition and allow Klein to fly to Israel. The Israeli government did not submit an official extradition request, according to a report in The Moscow Times.


In 2001, a Colombian court tried and convicted Klein in absentia. He was accused of training the private army of a Colombian druglord and right-wing paramilitary forces. In 1991, an Israeli court convicted and fined him for selling weapons to Colombian fighters.

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