Judge orders U.S. murder suspect held until end of proceedings
JERUSALEM (AP) _ An Israeli judge ordered today that a teen-age murder suspect remain in custody until a decision is made on whether to extradite him to the United States.
The suspect, 17-year-old Samuel Sheinbein, did not speak as he was brought, shackled and handcuffed, before District Court Judge Yehudit Tzur.
The 10-minute hearing was held behind closed doors and Sheinbein refused to talk to reporters as he entered the courtroom.
Sheinbein’s attorney, David Libai, did not fight the state’s request to hold his client until legal proceedings in Israel are completed.
Libai is trying to block Sheinbein’s extradition to the United States, where he has been charged in the September dismemberment killing of an acquaintance, 19-year-old Alfred Tello. Sheinbein and another teen-ager have been indicted on U.S. murder and conspiracy charges.
Earlier this week, Israel’s Justice Ministry formally asked a court to order Sheinbein’s extradition after receiving an official U.S. request.
No date has been set for the extradition hearing, although prosecutors said they expect it to take place soon.
Members of the U.S. Congress have threatened to hold up $3 billion in annual aid to Israel if it does not extradite Sheinbein.
Sheinbein is fighting extradition, claiming Israeli citizenship through his father, Shlomo Sheinbein, 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 the elder Sheinbein is not a citizen and thus cannot pass on the citizenship to his son Samuel.