Israeli Allegedly Trained Colombia Guerillas Lands in Israel After Release From Russia Jail

Lt.-Col. Yair Klein wanted in Colombia on charges of training the 'death squads' released from jail and is on his way back to Israel.

The former Israeli military officer wanted in Colombia on charges of training right-wing militias landed in Israel Frinday ngith after Russian authorities released him from prison.

Yair Klein
David Bachar

Israel's Channel 10 television showed Lieutenant-Colonel (Res) Yair Klein Friday leaving a Moscow jail where he was held on Colombia's extradition request. Russia's Interfax agency reported he would leave for Israel.

Officials in Moscow and Israel couldn't be reached for comment late Friday.

Yair Klein, born in 1943, was tried in absentia in 2001 for training the "death squads" which were used by Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha and Pablo Escobar, leaders of the notorious Medellin drug cartel, to wage war against the Colombian state in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Yair Klein also spent 16 months in a Sierra Leone jail between 1999 and 2000, charged with smuggling arms for the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) guerrilla.

Yair Klein
Archive

The European Court of Human Rights recommended in April that Klein not be extradited.