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23 May, 2024
 
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Political storm brewing in Cyprus over Biden whistleblower

Israeli professor calls on Israeli and American politicians to ‘rescue’ him from US extradition

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An Israeli professor facing US extradition in Cyprus, where he is currently under house arrest, is calling on his native country to “rescue” him from Biden, giving rise to speculation that his court case in Larnaca could become a hot potato for the island’s new government that maintains strong ties with both Tel Aviv and Washington.

Israeli professor Gal Luft, an energy security and diplomatic expert, is under house arrest in Cyprus after a Larnaca district judge on Friday ordered him to hand over his passport while awaiting his extradition hearing on a US international arrest warrant.

Luft was arrested last month at Larnaca International Airport as he was trying to catch a flight to Israel, with Cyprus Police officers detaining him on charges of arms trafficking to Libya and China in connection with fraud offenses allegedly committed between 2015 and 2023.

But Luft says the real reason behind his prosecution is payback for exposing US President Joe Biden and his family after the 56-year-old back in 2019 reportedly shared with Department of Justice officials incriminating information about then-presidential candidate's son Hunter and implications about overseas business dealings.

'When there is a political motive, Interpol does not extradite, or when there is a danger to someone’s life. I don't want to say that he is in mortal danger, but he is indeed in great danger'

“I've never been an arms dealer. DOJ is trying to bury me to protect Joe, Jim & Hunter Biden,” a tweet on Luft’s account read after his arrest in Cyprus, while further asking “shall I name names?”

Luft attorney Mordechai Tzivin on Sunday told Israeli news network Ynet that he was concerned about his client being handed over to the US.

“When there is a political motive, Interpol does not extradite, or when there is a danger to someone’s life. I don't want to say that he is in mortal danger, but he is indeed in great danger,” Tzivin said.

Luft, who has also sent letters to the Israeli government according to the news outlet, is calling on politicians to “intervene to rescue him.”

The known anti-trade war and Biden-critic has reportedly sent letters to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, Defense Minister Yoav Galant, and Justice Minister Yariv Levin.

Netanyahu’s re-election in Israel came with a number of challenges to the Biden administration, but ties between the two governments remain strong.

Cyprus and Israel also have strong ties which were highlighted this week when Netanyahu made a phone call to newly elected President Nikos Christodoulides on the eve of his inauguration in Nicosia.

Letters to US politicians refer to Luft's statements to DOJ

Additional letters were being sent to the Senate and Congress in order to raise awareness among US politicians about Luft’s arrest in Cyprus.

Knews understands the content of the letters to US politicians would include details about statements Luft had made to DOJ officials during an interview in Brussels back in March 2019.

A highly-divided congress is seeking to examine allegations of corruption involving Hunter Biden and his dealings with Chinese and Ukrainian nationals, including an appointment to the board of Burisma, an energy company registered in Cyprus.

President Biden has denied having ever discussed his son’s overseas business dealings but data from Hunter’s laptop, which was abandoned at a computer repair shop in April 2019, has raised questions that some Republicans seek to probe further.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  United States  |  Israel  |  Gal Luft  |  Hunter Biden  |  corruption  |  arms dealer  |  China  |  Ukraine  |  Burisma  |  laptop

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