Convicted Israeli mercenary free to come to Colombia: Attorney

An Israeli mercenary who was convicted in Colombia for aiding drug cartel and paramilitary killers is free to enter the country after his conviction expired, reported local media Tuesday.

According to his lawyer, because professional soldier and international fugitive Yair Klein avoided capture and imprisonment in Colombia, his February 2001 conviction expired and is no longer valid. Klein was sentenced to 10 years and eight months in absentia.

A Colombian court convicted Klein for training members of right-wing paramilitary squads, which are linked to the killings of at least 3,000 left-wing guerrillas and four candidates in Colombia’s 1990 presidential election. Colombian officials also accused Klein of working for drug traffickers Rodriguez Gacha and Pablo Escobar.

In 2009 the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Klein could not be extradited to Colombia. After serving two years in a Russian prision he was released and now lives in Israel .

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