Court denies bail to repatriated fugitive judge

Judge extends remand of former IEC head Dan Cohen, saying there is concern he could flee or obstruct justice

Former judge Dan Cohen seen in court on March 21, 2013 (photo credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)
Former judge Dan Cohen seen in court on March 21, 2013 (photo credit: Yossi Zeliger/Flash90)

The Tel Aviv District Court on Monday remanded former judge Dan Cohen into custody until the end of legal proceedings against him, saying there was a risk Cohen might attempt to evade or obstruct justice.

Cohen, who was charged in 2005 for taking millions of shekels in bribes from multinational firms such as Siemens while serving as a director at the Israel Electric Corporation, fled to Peru seven and a half years ago when he became aware of the suspicions against him.

In 2009, he was indicted in absentia for bribery, fraud and other grave offenses.

Cohen was arrested in Lima, Peru on March 16 after Peruvian authorities agreed to extradite him to Israel for trial. He was forced to board a plane to Israel. On his return, Cohen was arrested and put on trial on suspicion of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, as well as disruption of legal proceedings.

On Sunday the IEC filed a $200 million lawsuit against Cohen in the Central District Court.

Judge Gilad Neuthal on Monday rejected the claim by Cohen’s lawyer that his client’s conduct indicated he could be relied upon to stay in Israel. The judge also noted that in light of the fact that the runaway judge had millions of shekels deposed in a number of countries, there is a real concern that he has funds at his disposal that could help him manipulate justice.

Neuthal stressed that placing Cohen under house arrest would not be not an adequate measure to ensure no obstruction of justice takes place.

The suit filed Sunday morning also lists charges against another member of the IEC board of directors, Oren Ahronson, and his brother-in-law Shlomo Daniel, as well as Siemens.

Yifa Yaakov contributed to this report. 

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