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Israeli Backs Md. Teen Extradition

December 7, 1997

JERUSALEM (AP) _ Israel’s attorney general asked a Jerusalem court Sunday to rule that a teen-ager charged with a brutal killing in Maryland can be extradited to the United States.

Justice Minister Tsahi Hanegbi said 17-year-old Samuel Sheinbein should be brought to the District Court in Jerusalem for a hearing on his extradition. The ministry received the U.S. extradition request two weeks ago. The next step is for a hearing date to be set.

Papers filed by the attorney general’s office asked that Sheinbein be detained until a decision on his extradition is made, saying there was ``serious concern″ that he might flee.

Sheinbein is accused of killing Alfred Tello, 19, in Maryland in September, then fleeing to Israel. He and another teen-ager have been indicted in Maryland on murder and conspiracy charges.

Members of the U.S. Congress have threatened to hold up Israel’s U.S. $3 billion in annual aid if it does not take steps to extradite Sheinbein.

Sheinbein is fighting extradition, claiming Israeli citizenship through his father, who was born in pre-state Palestine in 1944 and left Israel with his family six years later. Under Israeli law, citizens cannot be extradited.

Israel’s attorney general and Justice Ministry are taking the position that Sheinbein is not a citizen and thus can be extradited.

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