Lima extradites Israeli judge facing bribery charges

Dan Cohen, who fled to Peru after being indicted for taking bribes as director at Israel Electric Corp., arrested at airport

Yifa Yaakov is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Dan Cohen (photo credit: Channel 2)
Dan Cohen (photo credit: Channel 2)

Peru has extradited an Israeli judge facing charges of bribery, the Justice Ministry announced Saturday.

Judge Dan Cohen, who was indicted in 2005 for taking millions of shekels’ worth of bribes from multinational firms such as Siemens while serving as a director at the Israel Electric Corporation, was arrested at the airport upon landing in Israel. He will be brought before a judge for a remand hearing sometime in the next two days.

Cohen had fled to Peru seven and a half years ago when he became aware of the suspicions against him.

Cohen, 71, was arrested in Lima, capital of Peru, on Saturday night, after Peru agreed to extradite him. He was made to board a plane headed straight for Israel, where he was slated to arrive on Sunday morning. Upon returning to Israel, Cohen was to be arrested and put on trial on suspicion of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, as well as disruption of legal proceedings.

Cohen fled to Peru, with which Israel does not have an extradition agreement, over seven years ago, after he was interrogated twice by the Israel Securities Authority on suspicion of bribery. Though he was let off with a warning after pleading innocent, he decided to flee the country in 2005, refusing to return. As a result, he was classified as a runaway criminal. Israel attempted to sign a plea bargain with him, but could not comply with his demands, such as unfreezing his bank account. Finally, his host country agreed to extradite him.

In 2009, Cohen was indicted in his absence for bribery, fraud and other grave offenses.

Cohen was appointed to serve on the Israel Electric Corporation’s board of directors in 1991 by then-energy and infrastructure minister Yuval Ne’eman of the Tehiya party. Previously, he had served as a judge in the Beersheba District Court.

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