Former judge Dan Cohen, who has been wanted in Israel for four years on charges of accepting bribes, fraud and breach of trust, was arrested in Peru Monday, state prosecutors said.
Cohen was charged in absentia in January 2009. The indictment, filed in the Tel Aviv District Court, states that while serving on the board of directors of the Israel Electric Corporation, he received $2.8 million and more than 1 million euros to throw major tenders to the Israeli company Rogosin and the German conglomerate Siemens. He is also accused of obstructing justice by fleeing to Peru and refusing to show up for interrogations.
Nevertheless, Israeli legal officials said Tuesday, there is a good chance that Cohen will not be jailed in Peru during the extradition proceedings, which are expected to take at least a year. Instead, they said, he is likely to be released with certain restrictions: For instance, he may have to post bail, or even be subject to some kind of regular supervision.
Israel has no extradition treaty with Peru or most Latin American countries. However, local law in some of these countries allows criminals to be extradited here, assuming that the country in question maintains legal cooperation with Israel. That is how Israel was able, for instance, to begin proceedings to extradite Rabbi Elior Chen from Brazil.
The Justice Ministry first contacted Peruvian authorities about extraditing Cohen a year ago, but various procedural hurdles needed to be surmounted before he could be arrested.
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