Alleged paedophile in bid to avoid trial

A suspected British paedophile who fled to Israel to avoid a trial may walk free if he succeeds in being deported to a third country, the JC has learned,

Todros Grynhaus is accused in the UK of seven counts of sexual assault against children. He escaped to Israel on a false passport in February but his attempt to secure Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return failed when the Israeli supreme court ruled he was too dangerous to remain.

The 48-year-old, from Salford, is currently being held in an Israeli prison. He is effectively exiled from Israel but is free to return to the UK to defend himself at a trial.

He was due to be tried in absentia in Manchester last month, but Judge Martin Rudland postponed proceedings when it became clear that the Home Office had not begun the process to secure his return to the UK.

According to court documents in Israel, no formal extradition request has so far been received from the British authorities.

It is understood that Mr Grynhaus, a former teacher may now be seeking refuge in a third country which has no extradition agreement with the UK. If he succeeds, it is likely he would escape prosecution.

The JC has learned that Israel’s attorney general has discussed the possibility of deportation to another country, because of doubts that Israeli law would allow Mr Grynhaus to be deported to the UK without a formal extradition request.

Professor Kenneth Mann, Israel’s former chief public defender and one of the country’s leading lawyers, told the JC that the fault lay with Britain’s failure to request Mr Grynhaus’s return, rather than with Israel’s legal system.

“The outrage should be with the UK for not making an extradition request,” Prof Mann said.

“He could be deported to another country if no Israeli court receives a request for extradition.”

The professor, who is not directly involved in Mr Grynhaus’s case, added: “The easy resolution is for the British to request extradition. In my view that request supersedes any other form of removal or deportation.”

Mr Gynhaus’s Israeli lawyers have confirmed he would fight any attempt at extradition, a process that could take up to two years and would delay a trial further.

The Home Office has so far refused to comment on any efforts to bring Mr Grynhaus back to stand trial in Britain.

Last updated: 9:45am, December 6 2013