Sex offender’s deportation to UK draws closer

A suspected British paedophile who fled to Israel to avoid going on trial for sex offences is likely to be deported back to the UK after a year-long legal saga.

Todros Grynhaus, from Salford, is set to face trial in Manchester after an Israeli court ruled that it did not have to rely on lengthy extradition procedures to return suspected criminals who entered the country illegally.

Mr Grynhaus went on the run last year after he was charged with seven sexual assaults on children. He was arrested in Jerusalem last February after an international manhunt when he jumped bail on a false passport.

But the 48-year-old hired two Israeli legal teams to use every means to fight his deportation, including trying to gain Israeli citizenship under Israel’s Law of Return.

Lawyers acting for him tried to force the UK to use complicated extradition powers rather than allow Israel to simply deport him back to England. They also attempted to persuade the African state of Gambia to grant him a visa without disclosing his alleged sexual crimes

At a hearing over the Passover festival, Israeli judge Dana Marshak-Marom ruled that Mr Grynhaus’s “failed efforts” to avoid being returned to the UK had strengthened Israel’s legal powers to deport suspected foreign criminals,

She commended Israel’s supreme court for issuing a landmark ruling against Mr Grynhaus that Jewish sex offenders could no longer use Israel’s Law of Return to gain citizenship.

“Without such [legal] interpretation it would encourage criminals from across the world to use Israel as a place of refuge as [Mr Grynhaus] has attempted to do,” the judge said.

Mr Grynhaus, who was also ordered to pay around £1,200 in costs, is expected to be allowed one further appeal before a final decision is made on his deportation.

Last updated: 3:45pm, April 24 2014