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Colombia seeks extradition of Israeli mercenary captured in Russia

Colombia seeks extradition of Israeli mercenary captured in Russia

Colombian authorities said Tuesday they will ask Russia to extradite a former Israeli army officer who was convicted in absentia of training the South American country's right-wing death squads.
Yair Klein, a former lieutenant colonel, was recently detained at a Moscow airport on an arrest warrant issued by Interpol.
"Hopefully they'll hand (Klein) over to us so he can rot in jail for all the damage he's caused Colombia," Vice President Francisco Santos said.
Foreign Minister Fernando Araujo said embassy staff in Moscow were translating the extradition request.
He said a Colombian judge convicted and sentenced Klein to 10 years in prison for his role in the 1980s training of far-right paramilitary groups responsible for mass murder and widespread land theft during a decade-long reign of terror across Colombia's countryside.
Klein and two other Israelis are also accused of training the private army of deceased druglord Pablo Escobar on how to carry out high-profile killings such as the 1989 assassination of cartel-fighting presidential candidate Luis Carlos Galan.
In a March interview from Israel with Colombia's Caracol television, Klein acknowledged he helped train right-wing militias on how to defeat leftist rebels but denied ever working with the country's cocaine cartels.
Andres Penate, head of Colombia's DAS intelligence agency, which cooperated in Klein's arrest, said the Israeli's extradition could take up to one year.
Russian authorities have refused to provide details about Klein's capture and did not comment on Colombia's extradition request.


Updated : 2021-07-27 05:52 GMT+08:00