The High Court of Justice announced Sunday that it had rejected a petition by a man suspected of human trafficking to pressure the Ministry of Justice to fast-forward its efforts to extradite him from Turkey to Israel.
The Ministry of Justice is seeking to bring the suspect, Guy Hasid, to trial for the alleged crimes of trafficking women for the purpose of prostitution in Israel. But Hasid was demanding that the court compel the Ministry of Justice to act even faster to bring about his extradition.
Hasid fled Israel before authorities could arrest him.
But he was tracked down and arrested in Cyprus after an international arrest warrant was issued by INTERPOL.
From Cyprus he was transferred to Turkey, where he has been held in prison since July 16, 2011.
On August 17, Israel requested Hasid’s extradition from Turkey, in order to try him in Israel. On August 24, a Turkish court, with the agreement of Hasid, ordered his extradition to Israel.
It appears that Hasid would prefer prison conditions and even a trial in Israel over the prison conditions and treatment he is receiving in Turkey.
However, he has not been extradited and remains in Turkey due to the fact that Turkish extradition law, like in Israel and in many other countries, requires final approval of a member of the executive branch before someone is actually extradited.
Although there are reports that the Turkish authorities plan to take up the request in the near future, there is no way of imposing an enforceable deadline on Turkey, and Hasid is concerned that his extradition may continue to be delayed or refused entirely.
The court rejected Hasid’s petition, writing that the Ministry of Justice had done everything in its power to seek his extradition by requesting his extradition within a month of his arrest.
Also, the Turkish courts had promptly handled the matter, showing that the state had not let the case fall off Turkey’s agenda.
The fact that the Turkish executive has delayed hearing the matter for nearly a year is clearly beyond Israel’s control, according to the court.
Moreover, the court said that Hasid lacked standing to ask the court to compel the state to do anything in circumstances where his dilemma was created by his own unlawful actions of fleeing from authorities to another country. Essentially, Hasid could not complain to the state about poor Turkish treatment when he brought about the situation which he is complaining of.
Generally speaking, extradition relations between Turkey and Israel, which at one point were highly coordinated and effective, have been damaged by the ongoing political clashes between Israel and Turkey in recent years, and especially following the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident.
Extradition relations between the two countries have been particularly impacted.
Turkey has requested the extradition of high-ranking commanders in the IDF, its state prosecutor has filed criminal indictments seeking multiple life sentences and it has publicly pressed the issue. Israel has ignored the requests and condemned the indictments, leaving extradition relations in a potential limbo.