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14 June, 2024
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Appeals court rejects extradition of Israeli diamond tycoon to Romania

Court of appeal decision overturns previous ruling in case of conviction and European arrest warrant


The Court of Appeal in Cyprus has overturned a previous ruling and rejected the extradition of Israeli diamond tycoon Benny Steinmetz to Romania. Steinmetz had been convicted in absentia in Romania on charges of fraud related to land deals that transpired between 2006 and 2008, resulting in a five-year prison sentence issued in December 2020.

Romanian authorities had issued a European arrest warrant for Steinmetz, which was rejected by Greece in March 2022. Italy also ruled against the extradition request. Steinmetz was initially arrested in November 2021 in Athens based on an international Interpol warrant for fraud.

However, he was subsequently released with the condition of not leaving the country. In 2022, the Athens Appeals Council rejected the Romanian Authorities' extradition request. Steinmetz expressed his relief at the court's decision, stating, "Another court of a European state sends a resounding response to those who flagrantly violate human rights and flagrantly undermine any concept of the rule of law. I am very happy to finally be able to return to my country at such a critical time for Israel."

[Information sourced from the Times of Israel and Reuters]

Cyprus  |  Israel  |  Romania

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