Former underworld kingpin Yitzhak Abergil is to remain in prison in the Negev after a judge on Tuesday rejected his request to be returned to the US to serve the rest of his sentence.
Jerusalem District Court Judge Yoram Noam ruled that Abergil was returned to Israel legally and that there isn’t a legal justification to return him to the US to finish his sentence for organized crime offenses.
The decision was made less than a month after Abergil submitted a request to be returned to the US, arguing that the sub-par conditions in Israeli prison were not what he was promised when he was extradited at the end of January.
Sharon Nahari, Abergil’s lawyer, argued that his client was under the impression that he would enjoy the same conditions in Israel as he did in prison in California, and that he would be located closer to his family and not at the Nafha prison near Mitzpe Ramon in the Negev.
In the United States, Abergil wasn’t a well-known inmate and was jailed in a facility where he was given a relatively high level of freedom behind bars. Abergil is one of the country’s most famous criminals and was therefore immediately imprisoned in complete isolation after his extradition, due to the fear that he would pose a risk to other inmates or be hurt himself.
Authorities also fear Abergil would try to rejuvenate his organization while behind bars.
Abergil was born in 1969.
When he was a young man, he proved to be a charismatic leader among prisoners and a major headache for authorities while locked up for a murder he committed as a teenager.
Abergil plead guilty in May 2012 to being part of a large Ecstasy drug distribution network. He was given an eight-year sentence, which he had been serving in California. He is expected to serve several more years in prison in Israel.