Israeli-American picked up on Interpol warrant in Greece, faces extradition to US

Lawyer asks US to drop kidnapping case against client who fled to Israel with her children, claiming her now-deceased husband had abused them; Israeli court had ruled in her favor

Passengers wait to pick their luggage at Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport in Heraklion, on the island of Crete, Greece, May 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Harry Nakos, File)
Passengers wait to pick their luggage at Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport in Heraklion, on the island of Crete, Greece, May 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Harry Nakos, File)

An Israeli-American woman vacationing with her children on the Greek island of Crete was arrested by local authorities responding to an Interpol warrant, which may lead to her extradition to the United States.

The woman left the US eight years ago with her three children, claiming that her husband at the time had been abusing them. Her husband claimed that she had kidnapped the children, and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

However, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled against ordering her deported back to the US, and instead granted her citizenship.

Now 60 years old, the woman ostensibly thought that she no longer was in criminal danger, given the court ruling, the fact that her husband had since died and that her children were no longer minors.

She took her children on a cruise to celebrate her youngest daughter’s 18th birthday but found herself under arrest when the ship docked in Crete.

The woman is currently under house arrest on the island and Hebrew media reported that the US is expected to request her extradition.

Dudi Ashkenazi, an Israeli citizen arrested while vacationing with his wife Racheli on Kos Island, Greece. (Courtesy)

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that it was aware of the incident and its diplomats were involved in sorting out the matter.

Nir Yaslovich, the lawyer representing the woman, expressed confidence that the US would throw out its proceedings against his client. “It would be a morally decent, fair and just thing to at any time, but certainly now when the whole world, as well as the United States, is marking the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.”

He urged Israeli authorities to assist in the woman’s release as well.

The arrest came roughly four months after a Greek court freed an Israeli man from jail after he was held for 14 days on what Israel claimed was a mistaken Interpol warrant.

Dudi Ashkenazi, 52, was vacationing in Greece when he was arrested on a warrant for a dual Israeli-Azerbaijani citizen also named Dudi Ashkenazi, who allegedly trafficked drugs between Peru and Russia in 2012.

Ashkenazi, his family and the Israeli government maintained that he did not commit the crimes. He has said that he was celebrating his daughter’s bat mitzvah at the time of the alleged crimes and was not in Peru, Channel 12 news reported last week. His wife said he does not hold Azerbaijani citizenship.

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