State Attorney requests extradition of Shai Avital

The request is based on a temporary warrant to have Avital stand trial in Israel on crimes alleged by two complainants.

 Israeli modeling agent Shai Avital (C) poses for a picture with Israeli models during an event on a rooftop in Tel Aviv, on September 17, 2017 (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
Israeli modeling agent Shai Avital (C) poses for a picture with Israeli models during an event on a rooftop in Tel Aviv, on September 17, 2017
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

On Monday, the International Department of the State Attorney’s Office filed an extradition request with the Netherlands authorities for modeling agent Shai Avital, who has been under investigation by the Israel Police since July 2021 for sexual offenses.

The request is based on a temporary warrant to have Avital stand trial in Israel on crimes alleged by two complainants.

Avital's arrest in Amsterdam

Last month, Avital was arrested in Amsterdam as part of a joint operation by the intelligence divisions of the Dutch and Israel Police. Israeli officers conducted the investigation with the assistance of Interpol, claiming the arrest itself “went through calmly and without incident.”

“Any wanted suspects that are outside of Israel that receive an international arrest warrant will be arrested anywhere in the world,” said Sub-Commissioner Dror Asraf, head of the Intelligence Division in the Investigations and Intelligence Department.

AMSTERDAM CANAL: At about 2 meters below sea-level, the city is built on 11 million support poles (credit: GAUTAM KRISHNAN /UNSPLASH)AMSTERDAM CANAL: At about 2 meters below sea-level, the city is built on 11 million support poles (credit: GAUTAM KRISHNAN /UNSPLASH)

Tel Aviv District Police launched an initial investigation into Avital in July 2021 after three formal complaints were filed by his models, and accusations of rape were made public on the Israeli investigative TV show Hazinor (The Tube). The models cited instances of sexual harassment, exploitation and other offenses.

In total, 26 women have filed complaints of sexual harassment against the modeling agent.

Circumstances of extradition

Avital was not in the country for the duration of the investigation and was ordered to return to Israel last October for questioning. In return for complying, his attorneys filed a list of demands, including release on bail for an amount to be agreed between the parties, and an alternative to detention.

Avital’s lawyers also asked police to allow him to meet them in their office before police questioning. They urged that the investigation be conducted in a balanced manner and away from the media.