Last updated: 17 March, 2013

Peru extradites Israeli ex-judge to face fraud trial

A former Israeli judge wanted by Israel on fraud charges arrived back in the Jewish state on Sunday to face trial after he was extradited from his refuge in Peru, officials said.

A police spokesman said that Dan Cohen, who fled to Lima in 2005, was arrested on arrival at Ben Gurion airport.

A justice ministry official told AFP that the one-time district court judge was in custody and there would be a remand hearing on Thursday in a Tel Aviv court.

Israel requested that Peruvian authorities hand him over in 2009 but as the two countries have no extradition treaty Israel conducted “protracted and complex proceedings” to get Cohen back, the justice ministry said.

It said that he would face trial on charges of “bribery, fraud, breach of trust, offences against the securities act and obstruction of justice.”

Haaretz daily said that Cohen, 71, was finally grabbed on a Lima street by Peruvian detectives on Friday.

“He had been under surveillance since the Peruvian government decided in a secret vote to approve his extradition,” the paper said.

Cohen bolted to Peru amid suspicions he had pocketed tens of millions of dollars as part of a deal to award German engineering giant Siemens a contract to supply turbines to the Israel Electric Corporation, the main supplier of electricity in Israel, during his time there as an executive.

He is also suspected of having fraudulently sold company real estate.