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Court Takes First Step Toward Extradition of Lipsky

November 17, 1971
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The first step toward the extradition of Claude Lipsky, a French-Jewish financier wanted in Paris in connection with a major financial scandal, was taken by a Tel Aviv magistrate’s court today. The court remanded Lipsky and released him on $18,000 bail on condition that he reports to the nearest police precinct every second day and turns in his passport to police to prevent his leaving the country.

The court acted at the request of police who received a formal request for Lipsky’s extradition yesterday from French authorities. The latter asked that the accused be taken into custody until the extradition process is completed.

Lipsky’s lawyers said they would appeal to higher courts against any action taken against him in Israel which stems from the newly ratified Franco-Israeli extradition treaty. They said the treaty did not apply to Lipsky’s case which he claims is political, not criminal.

The request that Lipsky be taken into custody was conveyed to Israel through Interpol, the international police organization. It followed ratification of the extradition treaty Sunday by Foreign Minister Abba Eban and French Ambassador Francis Hure. The treaty, negotiated in 1958, was approved by the French National Assembly only last week in a surprise action that was believed to be linked to the Lipsky case.

The financier is wanted in France in connection with the failure of his mutual fund company in which hundreds of investors lost their savings. French sources said yesterday that the authorities want Lipsky to be tried and sentenced before the general elections 18 months from now. Opposition parties have accused certain government figures of involvement in Lipsky’s allegedly illegal activities. The accused fled to Israel with his family last Sept. 29 and has applied for immigrant status under the Law of Return. The Interior Ministry is studying his application but reportedly questions his credentials as a Jew because Lipsky’s mother was not Jewish.

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