Salford sex suspect's escape bid in Israel

A suspected paedophile from Salford who fled to Israel is using the Law of Return to escape facing trial.

Todros Grynhaus had pleaded not guilty to seven counts of historic sexual or indecent assault and was expected to be tried at Manchester Crown Court. He was arrested in February in Jerusalem for using a false passport after fleeing the UK. Israel's Ministry of Interior confirmed that Mr Grynhaus remains in custody. UK police said they are working with the Crown Prosecution Service and Interpol to secure his return to the UK.

But he has appealed against his deportation by using a quirk of the Law of Return, which grants citizenship to any Jew unless they have a criminal past likely to endanger public welfare. If he wins the appeal and is granted citizenship, the Israeli authorities will be forced to release him with the possibility he may never face the English courts.

Mr Gynhaus's lawyer in Israel said there could be no reason in Israeli law for refusing his application for citizenship. "The [Interior] Minister can deny his appeal… in the history of Israeli law this has happened only once," he said.

But the JC has learned that, according to his lawyer, there is currently no extradition application being made by the Home Office, despite the UK having a special bilateral extradition agreement with Israel.

The Home Office has refused to confirm whether an extradition request has been made.

Last updated: 9:05pm, April 28 2013