Court rejects Abergils’ appeal against extradition to US

December 7, 2010 05:13

Alleged mobsters wanted for for a range of criminal activities, including murder, money laundering, blackmail and drug charges.


handcuffs 88. (photo credit:Courtesy)

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal by three associates of alleged mobster brothers Meir and Yitzhak Abergil, clearing the way for their extradition to the United States.

The Abergils and the three associates – Sasson Barashi, Moshe Malul and Yisrael Ozipa – are wanted in the US under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) for a range of criminal activities, including murder, money laundering, blackmail and drug charges.

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The court ruled that it had no grounds to overturn a ruling by the Jerusalem District Court in July 2009 to approve the state’s request to extradite them to the US. The Abergils were arrested in August 2008 on a warrant issued by US authorities.

The US has given Israel its word that if the five are found guilty, they will not receive the death penalty.

Among other things, the Abergil brothers are alleged to have conspired with Malul to arrange the murder of a drug dealer in Los Angeles named Sammy Atias. The Abergils are also suspected of extorting money from businessmen Hai and Asi Vaknin in a money-laundering scheme involving hundreds of thousands of dollars embezzled from a bank.

Malul is suspected of smuggling ecstasy pills into the US, and then seeking Yitzhak Abergil’s permission to kill Atias for apparently stealing a large amount of the drugs from him.

Yoram Sheftel and Avigdor Feldman, attorneys for the Abergil brothers, said they doubted there was enough evidence for their clients to be indicted in the US.
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