Where in the world is Kobi Alexander?
Jacob "Kobi" Alexander's name comes first on the 50-plus page indictment that the U.S. federal prosecutor filed in Brooklyn, New York. But while the other two former Comverse bigwigs surrendered to the FBI, Alexander did not.
He has been declared a fugitive from justice and his whereabouts are still unknown. The Americans suspect he hoofed it to Israel or Germany. If he's here, that has major implications for the legal proceedings he will face, explains attorney Eitan Maoz, a partner in the M. Seligman law firm, which specializes in securities law and extradition procedures.
The bottom line, says Maoz, is that if he is here, his legal situation is far better than if he had been arrested in the U.S. like his former colleagues, Kreinberg and Sorin.
"A person reaching the U.S. after extradition from Israel is in a much more comfortable legal situation," says the lawyer.
The U.S. can seek Alexander's extradition under the treaty the two countries signed in 1963, Maoz explains. But it is not easy.
Generally speaking, two conditions have to be fulfilled before Israel arrests and extradites, says Maoz: The crime has to be covered by the list included in the treaty, and the minimal punishment for the crime in question has to be at least three years in prison.
Maoz had not read the charges when he spoke with TheMarker, but he says the formulation of the treaty is so antiquated that it is entirely possible it does not contain the charges leveled against the Comverse founder.
Also, there are contingencies. For instance, while in the army, Alexander fulfilled a highly sensitive position. His extradition could be defined as hurting Israel's interests, in which case it wouldn't happen.
If he fled to Germany and has German citizenship, Maoz adds, he is safe: Germany doesn't extradite its citizens to the U.S. But if he doesn't have German citizenship, then he is best off here, concludes Maoz.