Shmuel Peleg: Arrest warrant for grandfather accused of kidnapping the only survivor of the cable car accident in Italy

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An international arrest warrant has been issued against a grandfather accused of kidnapping his grandson, the only survivor of a cable car accident in Italy.

Fourteen people died in the mountainside tragedy near the Swiss border in May, with everyone on board except six-year-old Eitan Biran.

His parents and younger brother were among the dead.

Image:
Shmuel Peleg, Eitan Biran’s grandfather

The boy’s paternal aunt, Aya Biran, was given custody of him following the tragedy.

In September, the child’s maternal grandfather, Shmuel Peleg, visited his parent.

He then brought the child back with him to Israel against the will of his guardian and family – starting a custody battle.

Magistrates in Pavia, Italy, have now issued an international arrest warrant for kidnapping charges against Peleg and Gabriel Abutbul Alon, who allegedly helped him take the child to Israel.

It is alleged that the couple took the boy to Switzerland before taking him in a private jet to Tel Aviv – at a cost of £ 36,000.

Peleg’s ex-wife Esther Cohen is also under investigation.

Image:
Aya Biran, who was entrusted with the guardianship of the boy

Grandfather’s lawyers say a counter-petition to the warrant has already been filed.

The Italian court declared that the desire of the mother’s family to bring the child back to Israel with them was “at the origin of the criminal plan carried out with clear premeditation and meticulous organization by the suspects”.

The magistrates want the couple to be extradited to Italy.

Italy’s Justice Ministry said Israel is unlikely to extradite the couple, as the Middle Eastern state tends not to extradite its own nationals.

An Israeli court last month decided the boy should be sent back to Italy.

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