Colombian Congress asked the government to make another attempt to have Israeli mercenary Yair Klein extradited from Russia to Colombia.
Congressman Ivan Cepeda presented the proposal Wednesday to the Second Commission of the House of Representatives. The proposal was approved, but the Colombian government must formalize it before it can be brought before the European Court of Human Rights.
“It is urgent that the Israeli mercenary face [Colombian] justice for his multiple crimes committed in the 1980s,” Cepeda said. He added that trying Klein will “ensure the right to truth for victims of crimes against humanity committed by paramilitary groups.”
Colombia has previously requested that Klein be extradited to the South American country, where he is accused of creating training camps for private armies that worked for drug lords, including the infamous Pablo Escobar. These groups later developed into Colombia’s right-wing paramilitary groups. Colombia’s request was denied in April, with the European Court citing human rights concerns as the reason Klein would not be delivered to Colombian authorities.
The former Israeli army lieutenant colonel was convicted in absentia by a Colombian court in 2001 for training illegal armed groups in the 1980s. He was sentenced to ten years and eight months in a Colombian jail.
Klein was arrested at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport in August 2007 on an arrest warrant issued by Colombia through international police agency Interpol. The Israeli remains in detention in Russia.