Israeli mercenary wins reprieve in extradition case

The European Court on Human Rights (ECHR) has demanded that Russia withhold the extradition of Yair Klein, who is wanted in Columbia for training terrorist groups. The Israeli special operations expert is now expected to stay in Moscow until his cased is

Citing Klein’s lawyer, Dmitry Yamolsky, gazeta.ru said Russia will not be able to proceed with the extradition until the ECHR makes its investigation into the case.

Columbia has tried Klein in absentia for training militia units in the late 1990s. He is said to have tutored terrorist groups in demolition and mine-planting techniques. The former colonel faces more than ten years in prison if handed over to Columbia.

Klein himself claims he was contracted to train Columbian farmers so that they could defend their businesses from bandits. He believes his life would be in danger if he is extradited to the Latin American country.

Yair Klein was arrested in Moscow in August, 2007. Earlier this month Russia’s Supreme Court ruled his extradition to Columbia would be lawful, rejecting an appeal by the defence.