DA: France To Extradite US Fugitive
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin has signed extradition papers ordering that fugitive and convicted murderer Ira Einhorn be returned to Pennsylvania, Philadelphia officials said.
District Attorney Lynne Abraham said in a statement that she was pleased that Jospin signed the papers Friday. But she said she still feared Einhorn, convicted in absentia of killing his former live-in girlfriend, would escape trial in the United States.
Einhorn and his attorneys have 60 days to make a final appeal to France’s Council of State, the country’s highest legal administrative body, she said.
``I am very pleased that Prime Minister Jospin has signed the extradition papers and I am happy that the process is moving forward toward his facing justice,″ Abraham said. ``However, given his track record, I am still concerned that he is going to flee. He has vowed never to return to Philadelphia.″
A spokesperson on duty late Monday night in Jospin’s office said they didn’t have any details on any papers being signed and suggested a reporter call back Tuesday.
Einhorn, 60, fled the country in 1981, shortly before his trial in a Pennsylvania court. The former prominent anti-war activist in Philadelphia was sentenced to life in prison for the 1977 slaying of Holly Maddux. The Tyler, Texas, woman’s corpse was found stuffed in a trunk in a closet at Einhorn’s Philadelphia home.
Einhorn has denied killing Maddux but blames her death on a conspiracy involving ``large intelligence agencies.″ Under a new Pennsylvania law, he would face retrial on his return.
He was arrested in France in June 1997. A French appeals court ruled more than a year ago that Einhorn should be returned to stand trial.
Einhorn and his wife, Annika Flodin Einhorn, live near Bordeaux.
If Einhorn returns to Philadelphia and faces a trial, he would not be eligible for the death penalty because Pennsylvania did not have the death penalty in place when the crime occurred.