Italy has requested that Israel extradite Shmuel Peleg, grandfather of cable car crash survivor Eitan Biran, so that he can stand trial in Italy for kidnapping, Channel 12 News reported.
Eitan is the sole survivor of a cable car crash in Italy which killed 14 people, including both his parents and his two-year-old brother. He was brought to Israel by his grandfather Shmuel Peleg without his guardian aunt's permission.
The extradition request comes as the the legal battle between Eitan's paternal aunt Aya in Italy and his maternal relatives in Israel is ongoing in Italy. An international arrest warrant for Peleg was issued in November 2021.
Following Italy's request, Peleg's attorneys are concerned that he may be arrested by Israeli authorities and extradited to Italy.
According to the Channel 12 report, the attorneys met with the State Prosecutor's Office department for international affairs, and attempted to convince them not to approve the extradition request. They also turned to Justice Minister Gideon Sa'ar (New Hope), in the hopes that he would prevent the process himself.
In their letter, they emphasized the enormous loss Peleg had suffered when his daughter, grandson, and son-in-law were killed, and the emotional turbulence he has been in since that tragic event. They also noted the fact that Peleg only did what he did after receiving legal advice - and that is why he took Eitan back with him to Israel.
In light of this, the attorneys pleaded with the Justice Minister and the Prosecutor's Office to have Peleg stand trial in Israel.
"If you are convinced that Shmulik Peleg committed a criminal offense - bring him to justice in Israel and do not send him to be arrested and stand trial in Italy," they asked.